The U.S. mil­it­ary has a new top com­mand­er for the fight against Is­lam­ic State mil­it­ants in Ir­aq and Syr­ia, and the re­gion is about to get a new spe­cial op­er­a­tions com­mand­er.

De­fense Sec­ret­ary Ashton Carter last month quietly put Army Lt. Gen. Sean Mac­Far­land in charge of the co­ali­tion fight­ing IS­IS in Ir­aq and Syr­ia. Carter an­nounced the ap­point­ment Fri­day, fol­low­ing a spate of cri­ti­cism that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s counter-IS­IS cam­paign lacked co­ordin­ated lead­er­ship as it stretched across agen­cies also in­clud­ing the White House, State De­part­ment, and in­tel­li­gence com­munity.

“Rather than three gen­er­als re­spons­ible for dif­fer­ent as­pects of the cam­paign, as had been the case, I have em­powered Lt. Gen. Mac­Far­land as the single com­mand­er of counter-ISIL activ­it­ies in both Ir­aq and Syr­ia,” Carter said. “His ef­forts will be crit­ic­al in the com­ing months as we con­tin­ue to provide sup­port for cap­able part­ners fight­ing on the front lines.”

Ad­di­tion­ally, Army Maj. Gen. Dar­sie Ro­gers will re­place Maj. Gen. Mi­chael Nagata as com­mand­er of U.S. spe­cial op­er­a­tions forces in the Middle East, ac­cord­ing to a mil­it­ary of­fi­cial. Nagata over­saw the failed Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion ef­fort to train Syr­i­an rebels to fight IS­IS. Nagata, who is highly re­garded among seni­or brass, is rumored to be in line for a seni­or po­s­i­tion at Na­tion­al Coun­terter­ror­ism Cen­ter in Wash­ing­ton, a post that would earn him a third star if con­firmed by the Sen­ate.

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