Politics / ArcaMax

Interviews with Syrian rebels point to the huge challenge Washington faces in battling Islamic State

AKCAKALE, Turkey -- The veteran rebel stood atop a pile of rocks, gazing across a barbed-wire fence at his homeland, Syria, where a black flag fluttered in the distance. "That's my house, the one with the blue door," said Mohammed, with a gray beard and a beige tunic, pointing to a modest structure in the distance. "But if I go back now they'll cut my head off as an infidel." "They" are the legions of so-called Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim extremist group that has seized vast stretches of northern Syria, including the frontier town of Tal Abyad, just across the boundary from this Turkish border city. Early this year, the militant group overran the strategic area, expelling Mohammed ...

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