Suppose America Gave a Proxy War in Syria and Nobody Came?

Last Wednesday, the New Syrian Army—America’s best, maybe only, hope to challenge the self-proclaimed Islamic State in its east Syrian stronghold—launched a daring attack on the heart of Islamic State territory.

By Thursday, it had gone wrong.

Islamic State had been waiting, and the New Syrian Army only barely avoided being annihilated by circling jihadists. On Twitter and in an interview with me, the group’s commander, Khaz’al al-Sarhan, railed against his American backers and speculated that his own group may have been infiltrated by Islamic State.

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