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Some of the devastation caused by the fight to remove ISIS from Raqqa, Syria. Greg Dixon/NPR hide caption

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Greg Dixon/NPR

U.S. Military Mission In Syria Endures As ISIS Nears Defeat

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks in Ankara during the funeral prayers for Sgt. Musa Ozalkan, the first Turkish soldier to be killed in Turkey's cross-border "Operation Olive Branch" in northern Syria, on Tuesday. Kayhan Ozer/AP hide caption

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Kayhan Ozer/AP

The U.S. has been arming the Kurds through the umbrella group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, but the aid has long been a thorn in U.S.-Turkey relations. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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AFP/Getty Images

Masoud Barzani stepped down last week as president of Iraq's Kurdistan regional government. The independence referendum he pushed through resulted in a military attack by Iraqi forces. But, he tells NPR, "I am very proud that we have given the opportunity for the Kurdish people to express their vote." He says the region will reassess its relationship with the U.S. Jane Arraf/NPR hide caption

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Jane Arraf/NPR

After Iraqi Kurdish Independence Vote Backfires, 'I Do Not Regret It,' Says Barzani

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Iraqi forces use heavy equipment to damage a poster of Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk, as Baghdad seeks to take control of the city from the Kurds. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Jalal Talabani, shown here in 2003 in Istanbul, died Tuesday in Germany at age 83. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

As Kurdish Leader And Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani Brought People Together

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Kurds wave Israeli flags at a Kurdish independence rally. Israel is the only country in the region to support the referendum. Jane Arraf/NPR hide caption

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Jane Arraf/NPR

What To Know About The Independence Referendum In Iraqi Kurdistan

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a summit in Beijing on Monday. He'll travel to Washington on Tuesday to meet with President Trump and discuss strategy for the fight against terrorism in Syria, which has divided the two countries. Lintao Zhang/AP hide caption

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Lintao Zhang/AP

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces look toward Tabqa, Syria. The U.S. announced Tuesday that it will begin arming Kurds allied with the SDF as the Pentagon prepares an offensive to retake the ISIS stronghold Raqqa. Syrian Democratic Forces via AP hide caption

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Syrian Democratic Forces via AP

As Mistefa Bedevi sings, 1-year-old Mirhat mimics performance poses, holding his hand over his ear. Gokce Saracoglu for NPR hide caption

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Gokce Saracoglu for NPR

In Turkey, Kurdish Singers Keep Traditional Music Alive

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks on Monday at the presidential palace in Ankara. Turkey is now embroiled in conflicts with Syria's President Bashar Assad, the Islamic State and the Kurdish separatists. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/AP hide caption

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Murat Cetinmuhurdar/AP