Syrian Kurdistan

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Syrian Kurdistan
(Western Kurdistan)

Rojavayê Kurdistanê (Kurdish)
Capital Qamişlo
languages Kurdish
Demonym Kurd, Syriac (Assyrian), Arab
Government Interim government
Autonomous region
 -  Autonomy Proposed July 2013 
 -  Autonomy Declared November 2013 
 -  Regional government established November 2013 
 -  Interim Constitution Adopted January 2014 
Time zone UTC+3
Drives on the right
Calling code +963
Internet TLD .sy

Syrian Kurdistan or Western Kurdistan (Kurdish: Rojavayê Kurdistan), also commonly referred to as simply Rojava[2] meaning the West in Kurdish, is a de facto autonomous region in northern and north-eastern Syria.[3] Syrian Kurdistan is part of the larger geographic area of Kurdistan, which refers to parts of eastern Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Iranian Kurdistan) and northern Syria (Syrian Kurdistan) inhabited mainly by Kurds.[4] Kurdistan roughly encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges.[5] Since 2012, much of Syrian Kurdistan has been controlled by Kurdish militias as part of the Syrian civil war and in November 2013 representatives from Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian Christian and other smaller minorities declared a de facto government in the region.[6]


The name Kurdistan literally means Land of the Kurds. In the Iraqi Constitution, it is referred to as Kurdistan Region.[7] The name is prefixed by "Syrian" or "Western", referring to the relative geographic or political designation of the region. In the Kurdish languages, the name is simply Rojava[8] meaning the West in Kurdish.


During the Syrian civil war[edit]

During the Syrian civil war, the Popular Protection Units (YPG) were created under the administration of the Kurdish Supreme Committee to control the Kurdish inhabited areas in Syria. On 19 July 2012, the YPG captured the city of Kobanê (Ayn al-Arab), and the next day captured Amûdê and Efrîn.[9] The two main Kurdish groups, the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), afterwards formed a joint leadership council to run the captured cities.[9] By 24 July, the Syrian Kurdish cities of Dêrika Hemko (Al-Malikiyah), Serê Kaniyê (Ra's al-'Ayn), Dirbêsî (Al-Darbasiyah) and Girkê Legê (Al-Ma'bada) had also come under the control of the Popular Protection Units. The only major Kurdish inhabited cities that remained under government control were Hasaka and Qamishli.[10][11]


Notable Kurdish settlements of Syrian Kurdistan[edit]

Military situation in Syria during the current civil war.
  Controlled by the Syrian government
  Controlled by the Kurdish Self-Administration.
  Controlled by the Syrian opposition

Efrîn District[edit]

Ezaz District[edit]

Kobanê District[edit]

Girê Spî District[edit]

  • Girê Bozana (Ain Issa)
  • Sûsik (Sawsik)

Qamislo District[edit]

Dêrika Hemko District[edit]

  • Çilaxa (Al‑Jawadiyah)
  • Dêrika Hemko (Al-Malikiyah)
  • Eyndîwer (Ain Diwar)
  • Girkê Legê (Al-Ma'bada)
  • Tel Koçer (al-Yarubiyah)
  • Tebkê (Tepke)

Serêkanî District[edit]

Hesîçe District[edit]

Arab settlements in Syrian Kurdistan[edit]

Assyrian/Syriac settlements in Syrian Kurdistan[edit]


The Kurdish Supreme Committee is a governing body of Syrian Kurdistan, which was founded by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC), following the signing on 12 July 2012 of a cooperation agreement between the two parties in Hewlêr, Iraqi Kurdistan under the auspice of the Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani.[12] The member board consists of an equal number of PYD and KNC members.[13]


The Kurdish Supreme Committee's armed wing is the Popular Protection Units, effectively forming the military force of Syrian Kurdistan.


Archaeological sites in Syrian Kurdistan[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "West Kurdistan divided into three cantons". ANF. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ The secret garden of the Syrian Kurdistan
  4. ^ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2005.
  5. ^ Kurdistan, BritannicaConcise.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Full Text of Iraqi Constitution". The Washington Post. October 12, 2005. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ a b "More Kurdish Cities Liberated As Syrian Army Withdraws from Area". Rudaw. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Armed Kurds Surround Syrian Security Forces in Qamishli". Rudaw. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Girke Lege Becomes Sixth Kurdish City Liberated in Syria". Rudaw. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Kurdish Supreme Committee in Syria Holds First Meeting". Rudaw. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Now Kurds are in charge of their fate: Syrian Kurdish official". Rudaw. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2014.