Google—or the many products and services now under the holding company Alphabet—provides the connecting tissue between U.S. forces and Kurdish militias fighting against ISIS in war-torn Syria.
New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi writes from the battlefield that fighters are using Android-powered Samsung tablets and Google Earth to track their battle lines and coordinate close air support with the U.S. military:
“Our comrades can see the enemy moving at the GPS address I just sent you,” [a Kurdish fighter] wrote in Arabic to a handler hundreds of miles away in a United States military operations room. Then he waited for the American warplanes to scream in. The strike that ensued soon after blasted a crater at exactly the coordinates provided by the Kurdish fighter. It left a circle of bodies, including one of an Islamic State fighter who died slumped over his AK-47.