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- Democratic Union Party (PYD)
- The Democratic Union Party (PYD) is the most prominent Kurdish organization fighting in Syria.
- The Rojava Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) administers the terrorist controlled by the Kurds in northern Syria and is led by the PYD.
- The People's Protection Units (YPG) is the armed wing of the PYD.
- They were first formed in the early 2000s as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK); the PKK is a Kurdish separatist organization in Turkey that the Turkish government considers terrorists. Because of this, Turkey considers the PYD a terrorist organization as it views them as the Syrian branch of the PKK (the Kurdish separatist organization in Turkey).
- The United States has given significant support for the PYD and this has been a source of tension with the US's Turkish allies.
- The expressed goal of the PYD is territorial autonomy in northern Syria for the Kurds.
- They are the largest part of the aforementioned Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
- The Economist (Nov. 2016) estimated the strength of the YPG at 20,000 fighters.
- Resources on the PYD
- General Resources on the Kurds of Syria
- For information on the historical ethnic composition of Syria, and where Kurds live in Syria, see the ethnic composition maps provided below: