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Kurdish YPG to Lead New ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’

On Monday, a group of armed factions in Syria announced the creation of a unified national military called the “Syrian Democratic Forces”. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will include Christians (pictured above), Arabs and Kurds.

The SDF will reportedly be led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), and will have the support of the United States through weapons, equipment and air strikes.

Alliance of Arabs, Kurds and Christians

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is an unprecedented union of Arabs, Kurds and Christians. Armed units from each of these groups have committed to working with one another to defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group. In its first public statement, the group said,

Due to the accelerated conditions in both the political and the military development and the sensitive phases our country has gone through, there must be an establishment of a unified national military force to all Syrians consisting of Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians and all others living in the geographical locations of Syria.

The alliance will primarily focus on expelling the self-proclaimed Islamic State from Syria’s ar-Raqqa governorate, where the Islamic State, or ISIS, has created a stronghold.

SDF Led by the Kurds

The SDF will reportedly be led by the Kurdish YPG, and is said to include at least seven military groups, all of whom were cited in the SDF’s first statement.

The military units that will make up the SDF include several militias from the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC), including Jaysh Al-Thuwar (the Revolutionary, or Rebel Army), Burkan Al-Furat (Euphrates Volcano), and al-Sanadid Forces (Arab military unit of the Jarba tribe in Cizre Canton).

In addition to the Arab forces, the Syriac (Assyrian) Military Council has pledged its Christian militias to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ).

Providing Rights for All

In a phone interview with Reuters, Nasir Haj Mansour– an official in the defense ministry of the Kurdish administration in YPG-held territory– said, “the current goal in practical terms is to confront [ISIS], given that it is the first enemy, but the goal is also to build a democratic Syria in the future.”

In addition to creating a democratic Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces are committed to creating rights for all Syrians. The SDF’s first statement finished with the following quote:

The Syrian Democratic Force is to launch a self-governing Syria. Relishing under the shadow of this force is the Syrian people who would be willing to live in freedom, impartiality, and dignity with inclusiveness to all for obtaining their legitimate rights.

[To read more visit Reuters]


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