Kurdish Advances Can Contain the Islamic State, but Not Defeat It

A Kurdish peshmerga fighter fires a weapon towards an Islamic State Group position, overlooking the town of Sinjar, northern Iraq, Jan. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).
A Kurdish peshmerga fighter fires a weapon towards an Islamic State Group position, overlooking the town of Sinjar, northern Iraq, Jan. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).
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SINJAR, Iraqi Kurdistan—The crash of the incoming mortar came from way behind the Kurdish lines; the shells were landing in the rear. Yet the excited and somewhat fearful commotion among the peshmerga fighters was instant. Men were looking through the peek holes at the Islamic State (IS) lines a few hundred yards away, trying to locate the mortar. Kurdish officers were on the phone, calling for a coalition airstrike. The warplane soon came roaring in, but by then the mortar had disappeared among the houses. A second coalition jet targeted an IS fighting unit—the next, a tank. The Kurds rely […]

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