“Protect Us Against Our Enemies”

GAZIANTEP, Turkey—Lt. Farhan al-Jassem is not a reluctant soldier, but sadness lurked behind his smile and deep brown eyes when he talked about the last 2½ years he spent trying to fight what he considers the good fight in Syria.

On a sultry July night in a tea garden in southeastern Turkey, Jassem, 29, leaned back in his plastic chair and gulped down several bottles of water as he told the story of how he came to lead a key Syrian brigade receiving training and equipment from a...

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