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Obama Names New Counter-IS Envoy

Brett McGurk

President Barack Obama has named Brett McGurk as his new envoy to the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

The appointment was announced by the White House on October 23.

McGurk replaces General John Allen, who is stepping down after 13 months overseeing the 65-member coalition's campaign against the extremist group.

McGurk, a long-time White House adviser on Iraq, was Allen's deputy.

Obama descried McGurk as one of his "most trusted advisers on Iraq."

Obama said he's asked McGurk to work closely with the national security team to improve relations with Iraq, and with America's partners in the region to help end the civil war in Syria, which has fueled the Islamic State group's rise.

Obama expressed "profound gratitude" to Allen, who served in the U.S. Marines for more than 37 years and is retiring from public service next month.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP