The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union is a Kurdish political organization that is active in Syria. It was formed by four parties discontent with the perceived weakness of the Kurdish National Council as a "subgroup" within the council to foster unity. The three parties that are part of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union include the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDP-S), the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria backed by Mustafa Khidr Oso and the Azadi Kurdish Party in Syria backed by Mustafa Cuma. The militia it formed clashed with the Popular Protection Units (YPG), a militia controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in April 2013. The alliance currently claims to have 1,500 fighters in Syria, with the Kurdistan Regional Government training troops in Iraq that will eventually controlled by the alliance. The two Freedom parties and the Kurdistani United Party (headed by Abdulbasit Hemo) will merge into the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria.
Over time, however, the union has weakened due to internal disagreements. While it was ostensibly formed with the intent of an equitable merger between the parties, the stronger KDP-S has been accused of using its political clout and support from the KRG to try to subsume all other parties. Only KDP-S members were allowed to become part of the small militia, raising allegations that the KDP-S is behaving in a similar way to how the PYD monopolizes control on the YPG. The Yekîtî party has abandoned the group, and their spokesman believes that Cuma's Azadî party may do the same. The PYD-linked Asayish did not allow members of the alliance to cross into Erbil, Iraq to conduct a meeting on 1 March 2014. The Kurdish Azadi Party and three other parties merged into the KDP-S in early April 2014 (though its not clear if the three other parties were also part of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union).