People's Protection Units
|People's Protection Units|
Official flag of the people's protection units
Democratic Union Party (de facto)
|Type||Light infantry (militia)|
|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, are the official armed wing of the Kurdish Supreme Committee of Syrian Kurdistan. The militia has been accused[by whom?] of acting as the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), although they deny this. 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 until recently they became active. 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 militia 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 Kobanê (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, Kobane and Sere Kanye.
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