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The Kurdish fight against Islamic State

Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) carry coffins of their fellow fighters, who were killed in clashes with Islamic State, during their funerals in Syria's Ras al-Ain countryside, January 2014.   REUTERS/Rodi Said

Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) carry coffins of their fellow fighters, who were killed in clashes with Islamic State, during their funerals in Syria's Ras al-Ain countryside, January 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) carry coffins of their fellow fighters, who were killed in clashes with Islamic State, during their funerals in Syria's Ras al-Ain countryside, January 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Kurdish troops take part in a deployment against Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of the Iraqi province of Nineveh, August 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer

Kurdish troops take part in a deployment against Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of the Iraqi province of Nineveh, August 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Kurdish troops take part in a deployment against Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of the Iraqi province of Nineveh, August 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
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Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Kobani after a U.S.-led military coalition airstrike, as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border, October 2014. Islamic State militants were beaten back by U.S. air strikes and Kurdish fighters at Kobani in early 2015, in a reversal of fortune after taking over swaths of Iraq and Syria.   REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Kobani after a U.S.-led military coalition airstrike, as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border, October 2014. Islamic State militants were beaten back by U.S. air strikes and Kurdish fighters at Kobani in early 2015,...more

Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Kobani after a U.S.-led military coalition airstrike, as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border, October 2014. Islamic State militants were beaten back by U.S. air strikes and Kurdish fighters at Kobani in early 2015, in a reversal of fortune after taking over swaths of Iraq and Syria. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
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Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from Islamic State forces, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, August 2014.   REUTERS/Rodi Said

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from Islamic State forces, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, August 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from Islamic State forces, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, August 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Female YPG fighters stand near the border between Syria and Iraq, close to the Iraqi town of Snoun, as Kurdish and Yazidi fighters battled to take the Sinjar back from Islamic State after breaking a months-long siege of the mountain above it, December 2014.   REUTERS/Stringer

Female YPG fighters stand near the border between Syria and Iraq, close to the Iraqi town of Snoun, as Kurdish and Yazidi fighters battled to take the Sinjar back from Islamic State after breaking a months-long siege of the mountain above it,...more

Female YPG fighters stand near the border between Syria and Iraq, close to the Iraqi town of Snoun, as Kurdish and Yazidi fighters battled to take the Sinjar back from Islamic State after breaking a months-long siege of the mountain above it, December 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
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A female YPG member mourns over the grave of her fellow fighter, who was killed during clashes with Islamic State, in Ras al-Ain, Syria, January 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said

A female YPG member mourns over the grave of her fellow fighter, who was killed during clashes with Islamic State, in Ras al-Ain, Syria, January 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said

A female YPG member mourns over the grave of her fellow fighter, who was killed during clashes with Islamic State, in Ras al-Ain, Syria, January 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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A Kurdish refugee from the Syrian town of Kobani shows a victory sign as a rainbow forms over the camp in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc, October 2014.   REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

A Kurdish refugee from the Syrian town of Kobani shows a victory sign as a rainbow forms over the camp in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc, October 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

A Kurdish refugee from the Syrian town of Kobani shows a victory sign as a rainbow forms over the camp in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc, October 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
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A female Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighter sleeps at a base in Sinjar, March 2015.   REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A female Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighter sleeps at a base in Sinjar, March 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A female Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighter sleeps at a base in Sinjar, March 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
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One of the older sisters of Perwin Mustafa Dihap, a 19-year-old fighter with the YPJ (Women's Protection Force), holds onto her sister's coffin during a funeral procession for two female Kurdish fighters killed during the battle for Kobani against Islamic State militants, in the Turkish town on Suruc, November 2014. Some 3,700 Islamic State fighters and 400 YPG combatants died in Kobani, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and YPG figures.  



REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

One of the older sisters of Perwin Mustafa Dihap, a 19-year-old fighter with the YPJ (Women's Protection Force), holds onto her sister's coffin during a funeral procession for two female Kurdish fighters killed during the battle for Kobani against...more

One of the older sisters of Perwin Mustafa Dihap, a 19-year-old fighter with the YPJ (Women's Protection Force), holds onto her sister's coffin during a funeral procession for two female Kurdish fighters killed during the battle for Kobani against Islamic State militants, in the Turkish town on Suruc, November 2014. Some 3,700 Islamic State fighters and 400 YPG combatants died in Kobani, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and YPG figures. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
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Kurdish fighters gesture while carrying their parties' flags in Tel Abyad of Syria's Raqqa governorate after they said they took control of the area, June 2015. The capture of Tel Abyad by the Kurdish YPG and smaller Syrian rebel groups gave the Syrian Kurds control of some 250 miles of the Syrian-Turkish border that had been a conduit for foreign fighters joining Islamic State.    REUTERS/Rodi Said

Kurdish fighters gesture while carrying their parties' flags in Tel Abyad of Syria's Raqqa governorate after they said they took control of the area, June 2015. The capture of Tel Abyad by the Kurdish YPG and smaller Syrian rebel groups gave the...more

Kurdish fighters gesture while carrying their parties' flags in Tel Abyad of Syria's Raqqa governorate after they said they took control of the area, June 2015. The capture of Tel Abyad by the Kurdish YPG and smaller Syrian rebel groups gave the Syrian Kurds control of some 250 miles of the Syrian-Turkish border that had been a conduit for foreign fighters joining Islamic State. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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A groom holds his bride's hand as they pose near a mortar and damaged buildings before heading to their wedding ceremony in the Syrian town of Kobani, October 2015. This Kurdish couple was the first to have a civil marriage after the town was captured from Islamic State by Kurdish-led forces.   REUTERS/Rodi Said

A groom holds his bride's hand as they pose near a mortar and damaged buildings before heading to their wedding ceremony in the Syrian town of Kobani, October 2015. This Kurdish couple was the first to have a civil marriage after the town was...more

A groom holds his bride's hand as they pose near a mortar and damaged buildings before heading to their wedding ceremony in the Syrian town of Kobani, October 2015. This Kurdish couple was the first to have a civil marriage after the town was captured from Islamic State by Kurdish-led forces. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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A female Kurdistan Workers Party fighter stands near a security position in Sinjar, March 2015.  REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A female Kurdistan Workers Party fighter stands near a security position in Sinjar, March 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A female Kurdistan Workers Party fighter stands near a security position in Sinjar, March 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
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Relatives carry pictures of YPG fighters who were killed when Islamic State militants attacked the town of Tel Abyad on the Turkish border, during their funeral procession at Ras al-Ain city, in Syria's Hasakah province, March 2016.      REUTERS/Rodi Said

Relatives carry pictures of YPG fighters who were killed when Islamic State militants attacked the town of Tel Abyad on the Turkish border, during their funeral procession at Ras al-Ain city, in Syria's Hasakah province, March 2016. REUTERS/Rodi...more

Relatives carry pictures of YPG fighters who were killed when Islamic State militants attacked the town of Tel Abyad on the Turkish border, during their funeral procession at Ras al-Ain city, in Syria's Hasakah province, March 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter looks through a guided missile scope before an offensive aimed at the Islamic State-held village of Fadiliya, north of Mosul, Iraq, October 2016.   REUTERS/Air Jalal

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter looks through a guided missile scope before an offensive aimed at the Islamic State-held village of Fadiliya, north of Mosul, Iraq, October 2016. REUTERS/Air Jalal

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter looks through a guided missile scope before an offensive aimed at the Islamic State-held village of Fadiliya, north of Mosul, Iraq, October 2016. REUTERS/Air Jalal
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A Syria Democratic Forces fighter helps civilians who were evacuated by the SDF from an Islamic State-controlled neighborhood of Manbij, in Syria's Aleppo Governorate,  August 2016. The SDF said Islamic State was using civilians as human shields.     REUTERS/Rodi Said

A Syria Democratic Forces fighter helps civilians who were evacuated by the SDF from an Islamic State-controlled neighborhood of Manbij, in Syria's Aleppo Governorate, August 2016. The SDF said Islamic State was using civilians as human shields. ...more

A Syria Democratic Forces fighter helps civilians who were evacuated by the SDF from an Islamic State-controlled neighborhood of Manbij, in Syria's Aleppo Governorate, August 2016. The SDF said Islamic State was using civilians as human shields. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Military vehicles of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are seen in a convoy southeast of Mosul, as Kurdish forces launched a fresh attack on the Islamic State's de facto capital in Iraq, August 2016.  REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Military vehicles of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are seen in a convoy southeast of Mosul, as Kurdish forces launched a fresh attack on the Islamic State's de facto capital in Iraq, August 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Military vehicles of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are seen in a convoy southeast of Mosul, as Kurdish forces launched a fresh attack on the Islamic State's de facto capital in Iraq, August 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter looks over Mosul from his position near Abu Jarboa village, Iraq November 2016. It was from Mosul's Grand Mosque in 2014 that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a 'caliphate' spanning regions of Iraq and Syria. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter looks over Mosul from his position near Abu Jarboa village, Iraq November 2016. It was from Mosul's Grand Mosque in 2014 that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a 'caliphate' spanning regions of Iraq and...more

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter looks over Mosul from his position near Abu Jarboa village, Iraq November 2016. It was from Mosul's Grand Mosque in 2014 that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a 'caliphate' spanning regions of Iraq and Syria. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
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Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fire rifles at a drone operated by Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017. The city of about 200,000 had been the base of operations for Islamic State.     

REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fire rifles at a drone operated by Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017. The city of about 200,000 had been the base of operations for Islamic State. REUTERS/Goran...more

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fire rifles at a drone operated by Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017. The city of about 200,000 had been the base of operations for Islamic State. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter sits as medics treat his comrades injured by sniper fire from Islamic State militants, in a field hospital in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017.    REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter sits as medics treat his comrades injured by sniper fire from Islamic State militants, in a field hospital in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter sits as medics treat his comrades injured by sniper fire from Islamic State militants, in a field hospital in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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A female Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fires a long range sniper rifle at Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017. 

 REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A female Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fires a long range sniper rifle at Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A female Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fires a long range sniper rifle at Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, June 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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Syrian Democratic Forces fighters sit next to a coffin of an SDF fighter killed by Islamic State militants in Raqqa, during a funeral in Tal Abiad, Syria, June 2017.   REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Syrian Democratic Forces fighters sit next to a coffin of an SDF fighter killed by Islamic State militants in Raqqa, during a funeral in Tal Abiad, Syria, June 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Syrian Democratic Forces fighters sit next to a coffin of an SDF fighter killed by Islamic State militants in Raqqa, during a funeral in Tal Abiad, Syria, June 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fires his rifle at Islamic State militants as he runs across a street in Raqqa, Syria, July 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fires his rifle at Islamic State militants as he runs across a street in Raqqa, Syria, July 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fires his rifle at Islamic State militants as he runs across a street in Raqqa, Syria, July 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces advance toward Islamic State positions in Seif Al Dawla district in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces advance toward Islamic State positions in Seif Al Dawla district in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces advance toward Islamic State positions in Seif Al Dawla district in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
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SDF female fighters sit together on a curb in the city of Hasaka, in northeastern Syria, August 2017.    REUTERS/Rodi Said

SDF female fighters sit together on a curb in the city of Hasaka, in northeastern Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said

SDF female fighters sit together on a curb in the city of Hasaka, in northeastern Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces shoots to detonate a mine found on their road during fighting with Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017.   REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces shoots to detonate a mine found on their road during fighting with Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces shoots to detonate a mine found on their road during fighting with Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
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Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control their drone during fighting with Islamic State in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa, Syria, August 2017.    REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control their drone during fighting with Islamic State in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control their drone during fighting with Islamic State in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
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A fighter from Syrian Democratic Forces takes a selfie as he stands near rubble at a damaged site in Raqqa, Syria, September 2017.   REUTERS/Rodi Said

A fighter from Syrian Democratic Forces takes a selfie as he stands near rubble at a damaged site in Raqqa, Syria, September 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said

A fighter from Syrian Democratic Forces takes a selfie as he stands near rubble at a damaged site in Raqqa, Syria, September 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Kurdish fighters from the YPG run across a street in Raqqa, Syria, July 2017.    REUTERS/ Goran Tomasevic

Kurdish fighters from the YPG run across a street in Raqqa, Syria, July 2017. REUTERS/ Goran Tomasevic

Kurdish fighters from the YPG run across a street in Raqqa, Syria, July 2017. REUTERS/ Goran Tomasevic
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Smoke rises after an air strike during fighting between members of the Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017.    REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Smoke rises after an air strike during fighting between members of the Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Smoke rises after an air strike during fighting between members of the Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
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A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces calls his comrades during fighting with Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017.    REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces calls his comrades during fighting with Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces calls his comrades during fighting with Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, Syria, August 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
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Syrian Democratic Forces fighters ride atop military vehicles as they celebrate victory in Raqqa, Syria, October 2017.   REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Syrian Democratic Forces fighters ride atop military vehicles as they celebrate victory in Raqqa, Syria, October 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Syrian Democratic Forces fighters ride atop military vehicles as they celebrate victory in Raqqa, Syria, October 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
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A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces gestures as he sits near ammunition in the village of Baghouz, during an operation to take Islamic State s last enclave in eastern Syria, March 2019.     REUTERS/Rodi Said

A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces gestures as he sits near ammunition in the village of Baghouz, during an operation to take Islamic State s last enclave in eastern Syria, March 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said

A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces gestures as he sits near ammunition in the village of Baghouz, during an operation to take Islamic State s last enclave in eastern Syria, March 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State's final enclave in eastern Syria, in the village of Baghouz, March 2019.    REUTERS/Rodi Said

Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State's final enclave in eastern Syria, in the village of Baghouz, March 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State's final enclave in eastern Syria, in the village of Baghouz, March 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces holds her weapon as they announce the destruction of Islamic State's control of land in eastern Syria, at al-Omar oil field in Deir Al Zor, Syria, March 2019.  REUTERS/Rodi Said

A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces holds her weapon as they announce the destruction of Islamic State's control of land in eastern Syria, at al-Omar oil field in Deir Al Zor, Syria, March 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said

A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces holds her weapon as they announce the destruction of Islamic State's control of land in eastern Syria, at al-Omar oil field in Deir Al Zor, Syria, March 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) take part in a military parade as they celebrate victory over the Islamic State, in Qamishli, Syria, March 2019.    REUTERS/Rodi Said

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) take part in a military parade as they celebrate victory over the Islamic State, in Qamishli, Syria, March 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) take part in a military parade as they celebrate victory over the Islamic State, in Qamishli, Syria, March 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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