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Thursday, November 20, 2014

More Than a Battle, Kobani Is a Publicity War


SURUC, Turkey — Two months after the United States began bombing militants attacking Kobani in northern Syria, the fate of the obscure border town has become the defining battle of the broader contest with the Islamic State — to solidify, or roll back, its borders and ambitions.
For Washington, Kobani is a crucial public test of President Obama’s strategy of combining American air power with local ground forces. For the Islamic State, it is a test of its image of inevitability and invincibility, and a tool for recruiting jihadists.
But of all those with an interest in Kobani, there is arguably no party as invested as the fractious Kurdish diaspora, which has pulled together in the hope of creating a homeland among the rolling farms and pistachio orchards that are still technically part of Syria.
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