People's Protection Units
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (November 2014)|
|People's Protection Units|
Official flag of the People's Protection Units
Democratic Union Party (de facto)
|General Commander||Sipan Hemo|
|Nujin Dirik (Aleppo commander)
Giwan Ibrahim (Qamishli commander)
Cemşîd Osman (Ras al-Ayn commander)
Roshna Akeed (Ras al-Ayn commander)
The People's Protection Units (Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel; Arabic: وحدات حماية الشعب Wihdat Himayah ash-Sha'ab), commonly known as the YPG, is the national army of Syrian Kurdistan. The group has taken a defensive position, fighting against any group that has the intention of bringing the Syrian Civil War to Kurdish inhabited areas.
The group was founded by the PYD and the Kurdish Supreme Committee after the 2004 Qamishli clashes but it was not active until the Syrian Civil War. As of the signing of the Arbil Agreement by PYD and KNC the Armed Wing came under the command of the Kurdish supreme Committee, though in reality it is almost exclusively still the armed wing of the former—and is responsible for maintaining order and protecting the lives of residents in Kurdish neighbourhoods.
The YPG is composed of men and women from communities across the Kurdish region of Syria. The YPG considers itself a democratic people's army and conducts internal elections as a method of appointing officers. Though predominantly Kurdish, the group has attracted increasing numbers of Arabs, including fighters defecting from the mainstream opposition as well as locals from mixed or Arab villages in YPG-controlled territory who see the group as the best guarantor of regional security; a number of non-Kurdish Christians also fight in YPG ranks, and the militia has close ties to the Assyrian/Syriac Sutoro and Syriac Military Council. They are known for their large number of women fighters.
In late July 2012, the People's Protection Units pushed out government security forces from the city of Kobanî (Ayn al-Arab) and took over Amuda and Efrîn. As of December 2012, the YPG consists of eight brigades. Some of these brigades operate in Efrin, Qamishli, Kobanî and Sere Kanye.
In 2014, the YPG collaborated with the Free Syrian Army in order to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Ar-Raqqah Governorate. The YPG has also formed an operations room with multiple FSA factions called Euphrates Volcano.
Liberation of Til Koçer
People's Defense Units (YPG) fighters took control of the Til Koçer city in Western Kurdistan, following severe clashes with al-Qaeda-linked armed groups.
Til Koçer, on the border with the city of Musul in Iraq, has been rescued following the "Tırbespiyê" and "Til Elo Martyrs" operations YPG launched on 23 October.
Clashes between YPG and the ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) militants in the city lasted till early morning on Sunday. YPG fighters cleared the city of the armed groups and also seized their five tanks, different kinds of missiles and weapons.
Following the two revolutionary operations, YPG fighters took the control of seven villages and three hamlets, and also seized the armed groups' many headquarters in Til Koçer, since 23 October.
Two villages, a headquarters and Til Koçer border gate (Alyarubia) were also taken by YPG fighters in the major offensive they launched on the night of 24 October.
PYD (Democratic Union Party) leader Saleh Muslim who spoke to Stêrk TV on Saturday said that the YPG success in Til Koçer was the "victory of the entire Kurdistan".
Muslim remarked that the developments in Til Koçer would also lead to changes in the political and economic situation in West Kurdistan, and said this success has created an alternative against the efforts and intentions to hold the entire West Kurdistan territory under embargo.
PYD leader noted that the Til Koçer border gate was a new alternative for trade against embargo.
As of November 2014, there are at least 10 U.S. volunteers who have fought alongside the YPG. Jordan Matson served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army. Jeremy Woodard served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Brian Wilson, another U.S. Army veteran, is located in Ras al-Ayn.
- Jabhat al-Akrad
- List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War
- Siege of Kobanê
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