War of All Against All

In mid-October of this year, ISIS was defeated in Raqqa by a predominantly Kurdish militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). In September I had gone with a TV team to see what remained of the city the jihadists had declared the capital of their caliphate. Entering from the east, we passed through an avenue of trees casting shadows across the baking hot desert road, like the entrance to one of those small French towns where, according to legend, Napoleon insisted poplars should be planted so his troops could march in the shade.

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