Impotent U.S. Airstrikes, Passive Turks and an ISIS Triumph

October 3, 2014 9:54 PM

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ATMANEK, Turkey — At dusk on Friday evening the crackle of automatic gunfire, the whoosh of rockets and the sickening roar of tank shells echoed from the fighting in Kobani, Syria, less than a mile away. We stood on the rooftop of a derelict farmhouse meters away from a Turkish tank and a razor wire fence marking the end of Turkey.

Nearby a family of Turkish Kurds busied themselves in their fields piling vegetables onto a donkey-drawn cart. Look the other way though, towards Syria as the sun melted in a red glow under the horizon, and the occasional rocket and flare flashed across the skyline.

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