Despite Long Odds, Syria’s Kurds Push Forward With Their State-Building Project

Despite Long Odds, Syria’s Kurds Push Forward With Their State-Building Project
Fighters from the Kurdish popular defense units YPJ and YPG during a break in fighting, Kobani, Syria, Nov. 19, 2014 (AP photo by Jake Simkin).

World powers and Middle East regional players continue to strain without success to find a formula for winding down the war in Syria and contain its expanding terrorist spillover. But political leaders in one corner of the country are moving ahead with state-building plans of their own, undeterred by the skepticism and resistance of their critics. Syria’s Kurds are sharply focused and achieving measurable success on a two-track campaign. On one track, their military forces, working in conjunction with the U.S. and other local minorities, are pushing hard against the self-declared Islamic State, making territorial gains and now pressuring the […]

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