How the Kurds became a key player in Syria's war

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How the Kurds became a key player in Syria's war 4.5

It’s an unlikely place for a democratic revolution.

The headline for this video has been updated. The previous version was: How Syria’s Kurds are trying to create a democracy.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war, Kurdish people in the North have carved out an autonomous region of their own — Rojava — by fighting the Islamic State. Their militias, which form the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have emerged as the most effective fighters against ISIS and won them a close partnership with the US.

The ruling Kurdish Party, the PYD, has set up a democratic federation made of local governments. Their constitution claims to accept people of all ethnicities and religions and treat them as equals. One of its central tenets is equality of men and women. In fact, the all-female Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ) militia fights alongside the SDF, and they’re known to be especially good soldiers.

But the more territory the Kurds take from ISIS, the more worried Turkey gets.

Turkey has been at war with another closely linked Kurdish group, the PKK, for decades. In 2018, Turkey invaded the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin, putting the country in direct conflict with the Kurds of Rojava.

To truly understand the international conflicts and trends shaping our world you need a big-picture view. Video journalist Sam Ellis uses maps to tell these stories and chart their effects on foreign policy.

💬 Comments on the video

So, US abandoned Kurds when it found out that they are no longer useful?

Author — Young nd


Spoiler Alert: The U.S.A. betrays them to The Turks and Russia

Author — Anton Resurreccion


This video was a year ahead of today’s events

Author — justjackman


Oh sweethearts, if only the Kurds had oil, Uncle Sam would have come to the rescue.

Author — Ashutosh Sharma



Author — waqar shah


Funny how they dont mention Rojava in the news these days. They just call it an invasion on Syria.

Author — Robert Cabello


they help the World get rid of the IS.
The typical USA leaves its allies.

Nice one!

Author — рууд а


The Kurds in Syria are mostly refugees that moved there in the 1920s. It’s history. Look it up people

Author — Amar90


Too bad they got backstabbed by the us AGAIN!

Author — Hemingway The Dog


Middle-East is such a mess. I get so confused.

Author — Priyankar Majumder


Breaking news : America declared war on pluto after they've discover that it has oil

Author — Marc A.M


US used the kurds as a means to defeat Isis then stopped supporting them once Isis was gone even though that's when the kurds needed their help the most.

Seems like a US thing to do...

Author — Erik Arustamyan


Use them and throw away" thats America for you.

Author — migri songs


3:07 i like that little cut you did there ;)

Author — ツTrenszpereney


So we used the SDF as ground troops to fight Isis and threw them under the bus once Isis was on the retreat.

Author — Mansamusa17


When you're in a proxy of a proxy of a proxy war...

Author — Fenixz Filip


Its sad How little people know about this but still have strong opinions

Author — /:


3:07 notice how the clip cuts when he says “against ___ the Islamic state”

Author — Yoda


who watches Turkey Operation Peace Spring and USA Abandons Kurds in 2019?
124 thanks Likes!

Author — jimboy de juan


This government actually seems promising

Author — Dmitri Shostakovich