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Why Kobani matters

A border town in Syria becomes ground zero in the U.S. air war against ISIS

A theater of war is not nearly as theatrical as it sounds but little more than a smudge on a map where the business of a conflict is carried out. Yet every now and then, the fates converge to build a stage upon an actual battlefield. During the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Tora Bora was such a place, the site of a massive bombing campaign that could be watched from your living room. And in October, the obscure Syrian border town of Kobani appeared in the spotlight. Now presenting: America’s newest war.

After 10 weeks in the skies over Iraq and a month of bombing Syria, President Barack Obama’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater …

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