If the evacuation of Afghanistan tested U.S. partnerships in ways that revealed something short of solidarity, building and sustaining an allied strategy for political transition in Syria can provide the corrective.
The Taliban sensed an opportunity. Eager to win more public support for their insurgency and desperate to prevent the Islamic State from making further inroads into their territory, they decided to escalate the fight against the group.
Afghanistan itself was a sideshow in which money and careers could be made and repatriated. In the meantime, an artificial economy was created there to service birds of passage, from diplomats and aid workers to military officials and outside contractors.
In the dusty farms and villages of Sinjar, the interests of Iran and Turkey collide. Here in northern Iraq, Tehran is allying with non-state actors in order to further its own interests — this time with the controversial PKK group, which will bring it into conflict with Ankara.
Thousands of Syrians have fought as mercenaries in Libya, Azerbaijan, and possibly elsewhere, on both Russia and Turkey’s behalf. Dozens have been killed, and hundreds have come back after their contractual deployments, but none return to the life they left behind.
Documents and pictures, made public in English by New Lines for the first time, that indicate Qardash was in fact a leading figure among Iraqi jihadist groups over the past two decades who has steadily worked his way up the security and religious hierarchy within the Islamic State group.
Even though Kurds produced many legends in Islamic history, like Saladin, contemporary Kurds invoke folkloric figures and battles. The central role of these legends explains the secularism of Kurdish resistance and why Islamism has not gained ground among Kurds today