|Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria
النظام الاتحادي الديمقراطي لشمال سوريا
Sîstema Federaliya Demokratîka Bakûrê Sûriyê
Under NSR administration (green), claimed (orange)
|Status||De facto autonomous federation of Syria|
|Government||Democratic socialist Communalism (Democratic Confederalism)|
• Autonomy proposed
• Autonomy declared
• Regional government established
• Interim constitution adopted
• Federation declared
|17 March 2016|
• 2014 estimate
|4.6 million (half of them internal refugees)|
|Currency||Syrian pound (SYP)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|Drives on the||right|
Rojava (// ROH-zhə-VAH; Kurdish: [roʒɑˈvɑ] "the West") is a de facto autonomous region originating in and consisting of three self-governing cantons in northern Syria, namely Afrin Canton, Jazira Canton and Kobanî Canton, as well as adjacent areas of northern Syria like Shahba region. The region gained its de facto autonomy as part of the ongoing Rojava conflict and the wider Syrian Civil War, establishing and gradually expanding a secular polity based on the Democratic Confederalism principles of democratic socialism, gender equality, and sustainability.
Also known as Syrian Kurdistan or Western Kurdistan (Kurdish: Rojavayê Kurdistanê), Rojava is regarded by Kurdish nationalists as one of the four parts of Greater Kurdistan, which also includes parts of southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan), and northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan). However, Rojava is polyethnic and home to sizable ethnic Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian and Turkmen populations, with smaller communities of ethnic Armenians, Circassians and Chechens. This diversity is mirrored in its constitution, society and politics.
On 17 March 2016, its de facto administration self-declared the establishment of a federal system of government as the Federation of Northern Syria–Rojava (Kurdish: Federasyona Bakurê Sûriyê – Rojava, Arabic: فدرالية شمال سوريا - روجآڤا, commonly abbreviated as NSR). While entertaining some foreign relations, the NSR is not officially recognized as autonomous by the government of Syria or any international state or organization. The protagonists of the NSR consider its constitution a model for a federalized Syria as a whole. The updated December 2016 constitution of the polity uses the name Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria (Kurdish: Sîstema Federaliya Demokratîka Bakûrê Sûriyê, Arabic: النظام الاتحادي الديمقراطي لشمال سوريا).
- 1 Geography
- 2 Historical background
- 3 Politics
- 4 Education, media, culture
- 5 Economy
- 6 Law and security
- 7 Demographics
- 8 External relations
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Rojava lies to the west of the Tigris along the Turkish border. It is composed of three cantons: Jazira, Kobanî, Afrin Canton, as well as the proposed Shahba region. Jazira Canton borders Iraqi Kurdistan to the southeast. Other borders are fluid in the Syrian Civil War. All cantons are at latitude approximately 36 and a half degrees north. They are relatively flat except for the Kurd Mountains in Afrin Canton.
Rojava is part of the Fertile Crescent, and includes archaeological sites dating to the Neolithic, such as Tell Halaf. In antiquity, the area was part of the Mitanni kingdom, its centre being the Khabur river valley in modern-day Jazira Canton. It was then part of Assyria for a long time. The last surviving Assyrian imperial records, from between 604 BC and 599 BC, were found in and around the Assyrian city of Dūr-Katlimmu in what is now Jazira Canton. Later it was ruled by the Achaemenids, Hellenes, Artaxiads, Romans, Parthians, Sasanians, Byzantines and successive Arab Islamic caliphates.
Kurdish settlement in Syria goes back to before the Crusades of the 11th century. A number of Kurdish military and feudal settlements from before this period have been found in Syria. Such settlements have been found in the Alawite and north Lebanese mountains and around Hama and its surroundings. The Crusade fortress of Krak des Chevaliers, which is known in Arabic as Hisn al-Akrad (Castle of the Kurds), was originally a Kurdish military settlement before it was enlarged by the French Crusaders. Similarly, the Kurd-Dagh (Kurdish Mount) has been inhabited by Kurds for more than a millennium.
In the 12th century, Kurdish and other Muslim regiments accompanied Saladin, who was a Kurd from Tikrit, on his conquest of the Middle East and establishment of the Ayyubid dynasty (1171–1341), which was administered from Damascus. The Kurdish regiments that accompanied Saladin established self-ruled areas in and around Damascus. These settlements evolved into the Kurdish sections of Damascus of Hayy al-Akrad (the Kurdish quarter) and the Salhiyya districts located in the north-east of Damasacus on Mount Qasioun. The Kurdish community’s role in the military continued under the Ottomans. Kurdish soldiers and policeman from city were tasked with both maintaining order and protecting the pilgrims’ route toward Mecca. Many Kurds from Syria’s rural hinterland joined the local Janissary corp in Damascus. Later, Kurdish migrants from diverse areas, such as Diyarbakir, Mosul and Kirkuk, also joined these military units which caused an expansion of the Kurdish community in the city.
During the Ottoman Empire (1516–1922), large Kurdish-speaking tribal groups both settled in and were deported to areas of northern Syria from Anatolia. The demographics of this area underwent a huge shift in the early part of the 20th century. Some Circassian, Kurdish and Chechen tribes cooperated with the Ottoman (Turkish) authorities in the massacres of Armenian and Assyrian Christians in Upper Mesopotamia, between 1914 and 1920, with further attacks on unarmed fleeing civilians conducted by local Arab militias. Many Assyrians fled to Syria during the genocide and settled mainly in the Jazira area. Starting in 1926, the region saw another immigration of Kurds following the failure of the Sheikh Said rebellion against the Turkish authorities. While many of the Kurds in Syria have been there for centuries, waves of Kurds fled their homes in Turkey and settled in Syria, where they were granted citizenship by the French mandate authorities. In the 1930s and 1940s, the region saw several failed autonomy movements.
Rule from Damascus
Under Syrian rule, the polyethnic Rojava region suffered from persistent policies of Arab nationalism and attempts at forced Arabization, which were mostly directed against its ethnic Kurdish population. The region received little investment or development from the central government. Laws discriminated against Kurds owning property, driving cars, working in certain professions, and many were stripped of citizenship. Kurds were not allowed to form their own political parties. Property was routinely confiscated by government loansharks. Kurdish language education was forbidden, compromising Kurdish students' education. Hospitals lacked equipment for advanced treatment and instead patients had to be transferred outside Rojava. Numerous place names, which had been known in Kurdish, were Arabized in the 1960s and 1970s. In his report for the 12th session of the UN Human Rights Council titled Persecution and Discrimination against Kurdish Citizens in Syria, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights held that "Successive Syrian governments continued to adopt a policy of ethnic discrimination and national persecution against Kurds, completely depriving them of their national, democratic and human rights – an integral part of human existence. The government imposed ethnically-based programs, regulations and exclusionary measures on various aspects of Kurds’ lives – political, economic, social and cultural."
There have been many instances of the Syrian government arbitrarily depriving ethnic Kurdish citizens of their citizenship. The largest of these instances was a consequence of a census in 1962, which was conducted for exactly this purpose. 120,000 ethnic Kurdish citizens saw their citizenship arbitrarily taken away and became "stateless". While other ethnic minorities in Syria like Armenians, Circassians and Assyrians were permitted to open private schools for the education of their children, Kurds were not. This status was passed to the children of a "stateless" Kurdish father. In 2010, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) estimated the number of such "stateless" Kurdish people in Syria at 300,000.
In 1973, the Syrian authorities confiscated 750 square kilometres (290 square miles) of fertile agricultural land in Al-Hasakah Governorate, which were owned and cultivated by tens of thousands of Kurdish citizens, and gave it to Arab families brought in from other provinces. In 2007 in another such scheme in Al-Hasakah governate, 600 square kilometres (230 square miles) around Al-Malikiyah were granted to Arab families, while tens of thousands of Kurdish inhabitants of the villages concerned were evicted. These and other expropriations of ethnic Kurdish citizens followed a deliberate masterplan, called the "Arab Belt initiative", attempting to depopulate the resource-rich Jazeera of its Kurdish inhabitants and settle Arabs there.
Gaining de facto autonomy
In 2012, in the early stages of the Syrian Civil War, Syrian government forces withdrew from three Kurdish enclaves, leaving control to local militias. Existing underground Kurdish political parties, namely the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC), joined to form the Kurdish Supreme Committee (KSC) and established the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia to defend Kurdish-inhabited areas in northern Syria. In July 2012, the YPG established control in the towns of Kobanî, Amuda and Afrin, and the Kurdish Supreme Committee established a joint leadership council to administer the towns. Soon also the cities of Al-Malikiyah, Ras al-Ayn, al-Darbasiyah, and al-Muabbada also came under the control of the People's Protection Units, as well as parts of Hasakah and Qamishli.
The Kurdish Supreme Committee became obsolete in 2013, when the PYD abandoned the coalition with the KNC and adopted the aim of creating a polyethnic and progressive society and polity in a wider Rojava region of northern Syria. The Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) coalition established by the PYD, based on a distinct progressive ideology of grassroots democracy rather than ethnicity, according to Zaher Baher of the Haringey Solidarity Group, has been "the most successful organ" in Rojava because it has the "determination and power" to change things, and because it includes many people who "believe in working voluntarily at all levels of service to make the event/experiment successful". United in the political philosophy of Democratic Confederalism, TEV-DEM established popular assemblies. In January 2014, the three cantons Afrin Canton, Jazira Canton and Kobanî Canton declared their autonomy and the Constitution of Rojava was approved. From September 2014 to spring 2015, the YPG forces in Kobanî Canton fought and finally repelled an assault by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during the Siege of Kobanî, and in the Tell Abyad offensive of summer of 2015, Jazira Canton and Kobanî Canton were connected.
In December 2015, the Syrian Democratic Council was created. In January/February 2016, the autonomous Shahba region was founded and administrative institutions established as a fourth canton. On 17 March 2016, at a TEV-DEM-organized conference in Rmelan, Syrian Turkmen, Arab, Christian and Kurdish officials declared the establishment the Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava in the areas they controlled in Northern Syria. The declaration was quickly denounced by both the Syrian government and the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.
In March 2016, Hediya Yousef and Mansur Selum were elected co-chairpersons for the executive committee to organise a constitution for the region, to replace the 2014 constitution. Yousef said the decision to set up a federal government was in large part driven by the expansion of territories captured from Islamic State: "Now, after the liberation of many areas, it requires us to go to a wider and more comprehensive system that can embrace all the developments in the area, that will also give rights to all the groups to represent themselves and to form their own administrations." In July 2016, a draft for the new constitution was presented, taking up the general progressive and democratic confereralist principles of the 2014 constitution, mentioning all ethnic groups living in Rojava, addressing their cultural, political and linguistic rights. The only political camp within Rojava fundamentally opposed were Kurdish nationalists, in particular the KNC, who want to pursue a path towards a nation-state of Kurdistan rather than establishing a polyethnic federation as part of Syria. On 28 December 2016, after a meeting of the 151-member Syrian Democratic Council in Rmelan, a new constitution was resolved; despite the objections of 12 Kurdish parties, the name "Rojava" was officially removed from the full name of the federal region and the region was renamed the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria.
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The political system of Rojava is based on its constitution, which is called the "Charter of the Social Contract." The constitution was ratified on 9 January 2014; it provides that all Rojava residents shall enjoy a fundamental right of gender equality and freedom of religion. It also provides for property rights.
Abdullah Öcalan, a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader imprisoned in İmralı, Turkey, is an iconic and popular figure in Rojava whose ideas shaped the region's society and politics. In prison, Öcalan corresponded with (and was influenced by the ideas of) Murray Bookchin, who favored social ecology, direct democracy, and libertarian municipalism (i.e., a confederation of local citizens' assemblies). In March 2005, Öcalan issued his "Declaration of Democratic Confederalism in Kurdistan" based on Bookchin's ideas, calling upon citizens "to stop attacking the government and instead create municipal assemblies, which he called 'democracy without the state.'" Öcalan envisioned these assemblies as forming a pan-Kurdistan confederation, united for purposes of self-defense and with shared values of environmentalism, gender equality, and ethnic, cultural, and religious pluralism. The ideas of Bookchin and Öcalan became established in Rojava, where hundreds of neighborhood-based communes have established across the three Rojava cantons. Rojava has a "co-governance" policy in which each position at each level of government in Rojava includes a "female equivalent of equal authority" to a male. Similarly, there is an emphasis on the equal political representation of all ethno-religious components - Arabs, Kurds and Christians being the most sizeable ones. Some have compared this to the Lebanese confessionalist system, which is based on that country's major religions. Rojava politics has been described as having "libertarian transnational aspirations" influenced by the PKK's shift toward anarchism, but also includes various "tribal, ethno-sectarian, capitalist and patriarchal structures."
Rojava divides itself for regional administrations into three cantons: Jazira, Kobani, and Afrin. The governance model of Rojava has an emphasis on local management, with democratically elected committees to make decisions. The polyethnic Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), is the political coalition governing Rojava. It succeeds a brief intermediate period from 2012-2013, when a Kurdish Supreme Committee was established by the PYD and the Kurdish National Council (KNC) (the latter a coalition of Kurdish nationalist parties) as the governing body.
Local elections were held in March 2015. The Rojava system of community government is focused on direct democracy. The system has been described as pursuing "a bottom-up, Athenian-style direct form of democratic governance", contrasting the local communities taking on responsibility versus the strong central governments favoured by many states. In this model, states become less relevant and people govern through councils. Its programme immediately aimed to be "very inclusive" and people from a range of different backgrounds became involved, including Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Syrian Turkmen and Yazidis (from Muslim, Christian, and Yazidi religious groups). It sought to "establish a variety of groups, committees and communes on the streets in neighborhoods, villages, counties and small and big towns everywhere". The purpose of these groups was to meet "every week to talk about the problems people face where they live". The representatives of the different community groups meet 'in the main group in the villages or towns called the "House of the People"'. As a September 2015 report in the New York Times observed:
For a former diplomat like me, I found it confusing: I kept looking for a hierarchy, the singular leader, or signs of a government line, when, in fact, there was none; there were just groups. There was none of that stifling obedience to the party, or the obsequious deference to the “big man” — a form of government all too evident just across the borders, in Turkey to the north, and the Kurdish regional government of Iraq to the south. The confident assertiveness of young people was striking.
Article 8 of the 2014 constitution stipulates that "all Cantons in the Autonomous Regions are founded upon the principle of local self-government. Cantons may freely elect their representatives and representative bodies, and may pursue their rights insofar as it does not contravene the articles of the Charter."
In January 2014, the legislative assembly of Afrin Canton elected Hêvî Îbrahîm Mustefa prime minister, who appointed Remzi Şêxmus and Ebdil Hemid Mistefa her deputies, and the legislative assembly of Kobanî Canton elected Enver Müslim prime minister, who appointed Bêrîvan Hesen and Xalid Birgil his deputies. In Jazira Canton, the legislative assembly has elected ethnic Kurd Akram Hesso as prime minister and ethnic Arab Hussein Taza Al Azam and ethnic Assyrian Elizabeth Gawrie as deputy prime ministers.
|Cantons of Rojava||Official name (languages)||Prime Ministers||Deputy Prime Ministers||Governing
|Last election||Next election|
|Afrin Canton||Hêvî Îbrahîm||Remzi Şêxmus
Ebdil Hemid Mistefa
|Jazira Canton||Akram Hesso||Elizabeth Gawrie
Hussein Taza Al Azam
|Kobanî Canton||Enver Muslim||Bêrîvan Hesen
|Shahba region||Ismail Musa||Mohammed Ahmed Khaddro
In December 2015, during a meeting of representatives of North Syria in Al-Malikiyah, the participants decided to establish a Federal Assembly, the Syrian Democratic Assembly to serve as the political representative of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The co-leaders selected to lead the Assembly at its founding, were prominent human rights activist Haytham Manna and TEV-DEM Executive Board member Îlham Ehmed.
On the level of the Rojava federation, Federal Council ministries deal with the economy, agriculture, natural resources, and foreign affairs.
The ministers are appointed by TEV-DEM; general elections were planned to be held before the end of 2014, but this was postponed due to fighting. Among other stipulations outlined is a quota of 40% for women’s participation in government, as well as another quota for youth. In connection with a decision to introduce affirmative action for ethnic minorities, all governmental organizations and offices are based on a co-presidential system.
|Îşûh Gewriyê||Syriac Union Party (SUP)||TEV-DEM||Jazira|
|Meram Dawûd||Honor and Rights Convention||?|
|Rojîn Remo||Yekîtiya Star||TEV-DEM||N/A|
|Hikmet Hebîb||Arab National Coalition||?|
|Cemal Şêx Baqî||Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (PDK-S)||KNC||?|
|Parêzer Elaaddin El-Xalid||Syrian National Democratic Alliance||Shahba|
|Salih El-Nebwanî||Law–Citizenship–Rights Movement (QMH)||?|
Education, media, culture
Under the rule of the Ba'ath Party, school education consisted of only Arabic language public schools, supplemented by Assyrian private confessional schools. In 2015, the Rojava administration introduced primary education in the native language (either Kurdish or Arabic) and mandatory bilingual education (Kurdish and Arabic) for public schools, with English as a mandatory third language. There are ongoing disagreements and negotiations over curriculums with the Syrian central government, which generally still pays the teachers in public schools. For Assyrian private confessional schools there have been no changes. In August 2016, the Ourhi Centre was founded by the Assyrian community in the city of Qamishli, to educate teachers in order to make Syriac-Aramaic an additional language to be taught in public schools in Jazira Canton, which then started with the 2016/17 academic year. With that academic year, states the Rojava Education Committee, "three curriculums have replaced the old one, to include teaching in three languages: Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian."
The federal, cantonal and local administrations in Rojava put much emphasis on promoting libraries and educational centers, to facilitate learning and social and artistic activities. Examples are the 2015 established Nahawand Center for Developing Children’s Talents in Amuda or the Rodî û Perwîn Library established in Kobani in May 2016.
While there was no institution of tertiary education on the territory of Rojava at the onset of the Syrian civil war, an increasing number of such institutions have been established by the cantonal administrations in Rojava since the outbreak of the conflict.
- In September 2014, the Mesopotamian Social Sciences Academy in Qamishli started classes. More such academies designed under a libertarian socialist academic philosophy and concept were in the process of founding or planning.
- In August 2015, the traditionally-designed University of Afrin in Afrin started teaching, with initial programs in literature, engineering and economics, including institutes for medicine, topographic engineering, music and theater, business administration and the Kurdish language.
- In July 2016, Jazira Canton Board of Education started the University of Rojava in Qamishli, with faculties for Medicine, Engineering, Sciences, and Arts and Humanities. Programs taught include health, oil, computer and agricultural engineering; physics, chemistry, history, psychology, geography, mathematics and primary school teaching and Kurdish literature. Its language of instruction being Kurdish, and having an agreement with Paris 8 University in France for cooperation, the university opened registration for students in the academic year 2016-2017.
- In August 2016 Jazira Canton police forces took control of the remaining parts of Hasakah city, which included the Hasakah campus of Arabic-language Al-Furat University, and with mutual agreement the institution continues to be operated under the authority of the Damascus government Ministry of Higher Education.
Incorporating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as other internationally recognized human rights conventions, the 2014 Constitution of Rojava guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press. As a result, a diverse media landscape has developed in Rojava, in each of the Kurdish, Arabic, Syriac-Aramaic and Turkish languages of the land, as well as in English, and media outlets frequently use more than one language. Among the most prominent media in Rojava are ANHA and ARA News news agencies and websites as well as TV outlets Rojava Kurdistan TV, Ronahî TV, and the bimonthly magazine Nudem. A landscape of local newspapers and radio stations has developed. However, media agencies often face economic pressure, as was demonstrated by the shutting down of news website Welati in May 2016. Political extremism incited by the context of the Syrian Civil war can put media outlets under pressure, the April 2016 threatening and burning down of the premises of Arta FM ("the first, and only, independent radio station staffed and broadcast by Syrians inside Syria") in Amuda by unidentified assailants being the most prominent example.
International media and journalists operate with few restrictions in Rojava, the only region in Syria where they can operate freely. This has led to a rich trove of international media reporting on Rojava being available, including major TV documentaries like BBC documentary (2014): Rojava: Syria's Secret Revolution or Sky1 documentary (2016): Rojava - the fight against ISIS.
Internet connections in Rojava are usually very slow due to a lack of adequate infrastructure. Internet lines are operated by Syrian Telecom, which as of January 2017 is working on a major extension of the fibre optic cable network in southern Jazira Canton.
The leap in political and societal liberty which occurred with the establishment of Rojava has created a blossoming of artistic expression in the region, in particular with the theme of political and social revolution as well as with respect to Kurdish traditions. The Center of Art and Democratic Culture, located in the al-Jazeera canton, has become a venue for aspiring artists who showcase their work.
Economy policy framework
In 2012, the PYD launched what it originally called the Social Economy Plan, later renamed the People’s Economy Plan (PEP). The PEP's policies are based primarily on the work of Abdullah Öcalan and ultimately seek to move beyond capitalism in favor of Democratic Confederalism. Private property and entrepreneurship are protected under the principle of "ownership by use", although accountable to the democratic will of locally organized councils. Dr. Dara Kurdaxi, a Rojavan economist, has said that: "The method in Rojava is not so much against private property, but rather has the goal of putting private property in the service of all the peoples who live in Rojava."
Rojava's private sector is comparatively small, with the focus being on expanding social ownership of production and management of resources through communes and collectives. Several hundred instances of collective farming have occurred across towns and villages in all three cantons, with each commune consisting of approximately 20–35 people. According to the Ministry of Economics, approximately three quarters of all property has been placed under community ownership and a third of production has been transferred to direct management by workers' councils.
There are no direct or indirect taxes on people or businesses in Rojava, the administration raises money through tariffs and through selling oil and other natural resources. In May 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that traders in Syria experience Rojava as "the one place where they aren’t forced to pay bribes.".
General development assessments
The Assad government had deliberately left the Rojava region underdeveloped, mainly in order to cause Kurds to migrate to cities outside the region where Arabization was easier to accomplish. During the Syrian Civil War, the infrastructure of Rojava has on average experienced less destruction than other parts of Syria, and masters the challenges of the circumstances comparatively well. In May 2016, Ahmed Yousef, head of the Economic Body and chairman of Afrin University, estimated that at the time, the Rojava region's economic output (including agriculture, industry and oil) accounted for about 55% of Syria's gross domestic product.
Economies of the cantons
A diverse agricultural production is the economic backbone of all Rojava cantons. Afrin Canton has a traditional specialisation on olive oil including Aleppo soap made from it, and has drawn much industrial production from the nearby city of Aleppo due to longstanding civil war fighting in that city. Jazira Canton is a major wheat and cotton producer and has a considerable oil industry. Kobanî Canton suffered most destruction of the three cantons and has huge challenges in reconstruction, and has recently seen greenhouse agriculture spreading.
Investment in public infrastructure is a priority of the canton administrations.
External economic relations
Oil and food production exceeds demand so exports include oil and agricultural products such as sheep, grain and cotton. Imports include consumer goods and auto parts. The border crossing with Iraqi Kurdistan is intermittently closed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) side, it was opened again on June 10, 2016. Turkey does not allow businesspeople or goods to cross its border  although Rojava would like the border to be opened. Trade as well as access to both humanitarian and military aid is difficult as Rojava remains under a blockade by Turkey.
The economic blockade of Rojava from the adjacent territories controlled by Turkey and ISIL, and partially also the KRG, results in a distortion of relative prices (in particular in Jazira Canton and Kobanî Canton, while separate Afrin Canton also meets Syrian government controlled territory); for example in Jazira Canton and Kobanî Canton, petrol costs only half as much as bottled water.
Law and security
The legal system
The civil laws of Syria are valid in Rojava, as long as they do not conflict with the Constitution of Rojava. One notable example for amendment is personal status law, which in Syria is still based on Sharia and applied by Sharia Courts, where strictly secular Rojava proclaims absolute equality of women under the law and a ban on forced marriage as well as polygamy was introduced, while underage marriage was outlawed as well. For the first time in Syrian history, civil marriage is being allowed and promoted, a significant move towards a secular open society and intermarriage between people of different religious backgrounds.
A new criminal justice approach has been implemented that emphasizes restoration over retribution. The death penalty has been abolished. Prisons are housing mostly those charged with terrorist activity related to ISIL and other extremist groups. A September 2015 report of Amnesty International noted that 400 people were incarcerated, which based on a population of 4.6 million makes an imprisonment rate of 8.7 people per 100,000, compared to 60.0 people per 100,000 in Syria as a whole, and the second lowest rate in the world after San Marino. However, the report also noted some deficiencies in due process.
The new justice systems in Rojava reflects the revolutionary concept of Democratic Confederalism. At the local level, citizens create Peace and Consensus Committees, which make group decisions on minor criminal cases and disputes as well as in separate committees resolve issues of specific concern to women's rights like domestic violence and marriage. At the regional level, citizens (who are not required to be trained jurists) are elected by the regional People's Councils to serve on seven-member People's Courts. At the next level are four Appeals Courts, composed of trained jurists. The court of last resort is the Regional Court, which serves Rojava as a whole. Distinct and separate from this system, the Constitutional Court renders decisions on compatibility of acts of government and legal proceedings with the constitution of Rojava (called the Social Contract).
Policing and security forces
The police function in Rojava cantons is performed by the Asayish armed formation. Asayish was established on July 25, 2013 in order to fill the gap of security when the Syrian security forces withdrew and the Rojava revolution began. Under the Constitution of Rojava, policing is a competence of the cantons. Overall, the Asayish forces of the cantons are composed of 26 official bureaus that aim to provide security and solutions to social problems. The six main units of Rojava Asayish are Checkpoints Administration, Anti-Terror Forces Command (HAT), Intelligence Directorate, Organized Crime Directorate, Traffic Directorate and Treasury Directorate. 218 Asayish centers were established and 385 checkpoints with 10 Asayish members in each checkpoint were set up. 105 Asayish offices provide security against ISIL on the frontlines across Rojava. Larger cities have general directorates that are responsible for all aspects of security including road controls. Each Rojava canton has a HAT command and each Asayish center organizes itself autonomously.
Throughout Rojava, the municipal Civilian Defense Forces (HPC) and the cantonal Self-Defense Forces (HXP) also serve local-level security. In Jazeera Canton, the Asayish are further complemented by the Assyrian Sutoro police force, which is organized in every area with Assyrian population, provides security and solutions to social problems in collaboration with other Asayish units. The Khabour Guards also have a presence in the area, providing security in towns along the Khabur River.
All police force is trained in non-violent conflict resolution as well as feminist theory before being allowed access to a weapon. Directors of the Asayish police academy have said that the long-term goal is to give all citizens six weeks of police training before ultimately eliminating the police.
Rojava's most important defence militia is the People's Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, YPG). The YPG was founded by the PYD party after the 2004 Qamishli clashes, but it was not active until the Syrian civil war. It is under the control of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM). Another militia closely related to Rojava is the Syriac Military Council (MFS), an Assyrian militia associated with the Syriac Union Party. The YPG, the MFS, and all other militias in Rojava, like the Army of Revolutionaries with many subsidiary groups or the Al-Sanadid Forces, are under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The same is true for the municipal military councils which have been established in Shahba region, like the Manbij Military Council, the Al-Bab Military Council or the Jarablus Military Council.
The Self-Defence Forces (HXP) is a multi-ethnic territorial defense militia and the only conscript armed force in Rojava. HXP is locally recruited to garrison their municipal area and is under the responsibility and command of the respective cantons of Rojava. Occasionally HYP units have supported the YPG, and SDF in general, during combat operations against ISIL outside of their own municipality and canton.
Human rights issues
In the course of the Syrian Civil War, accusations of alleged war crimes have also been leveled against Rojava associated militias, in particular members of the People's Protection Units (YPG), including 2014 and 2015 reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, both of which operate freely in Rojava. Accusations have been comprehensively debated and contested by both the YPG and other human rights organizations. YPG members since September 2015 receive human rights training from Geneva Call and other international organizations.
The Rojava civil government has been hailed in international media for human rights advancement in particular in the legal system, concerning women's rights, concerning ethnic minority rights, with respect to freedom of Speech and Press and for hosting inbound refugees. The political agenda of "trying to break the honor-based religious and tribal rules that confine women" is controversial in conservative quarters of society. Enforcing conscription into the Self-Defence Forces (HXP) has been called a human rights violation from the perspective of those who consider the Rojava institutions illegitimate.
Some persistent issues under the Rojava administration concern ethnic minority rights. One issue of contention is the consequence of the Baathist Syrian government's settling of Arab tribal settlers, expropriated for the purpose from its previous Kurdish owners in 1973 and 2007, There are persistent calls to expel the settlers and return the land to their previous Kurdish owners among the Kurdish population of the region, which have led the political leadership of the Rojava Federation to press the Syrian government for a comprehensive solution.
The demographics of the region has historically been highly diverse. One major shift in modern times was in the early part of the 20th century due to the Assyrian and Armenian Genocides, when many Assyrians and Armenians fled to Syria from Turkey. This was followed by many Kurds fleeing Turkey in the aftermath of Sheikh Said rebellion. Another major shift in modern times was the Baath policy of settling additional Arab tribes in Rojava. Most recently, during the Syrian Civil War, Rojava’s population has more than doubled to about 4.6 million. Among the newcomers are Syrians of all ethnicities who have fled from violence taking place in other parts of Syria. Many ethnic Arab citizens from Iraq have fled to Rojava as well.
Two ethnic groups have a significant presence throughout Rojava:
- Kurds are an ethnic group living in northeastern and northwestern Syria, culturally and linguistically classified among the Iranian peoples. Many Kurds consider themselves descended from the ancient Iranian people of the Medes, using a calendar dating from 612 B.C., when the Assyrian capital of Nineveh was conquered by the Medes. Kurds formed 55% of the 2010 population of what now is both Jazira canton and Kobani canton. During the Syrian civil war, many Kurds who had lived elswhere in Syria fled back to their traditional lands in Rojava. Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking ethnoreligious group with a presence throughout Rojava.
- Arabs are an ethnic group or ethnolinguistic group living throughout Rojava, mainly defined by Arabic as their first language. They encompass bedouin tribes who trace their ancestry to the Arabian Peninsula as well as Arabized indigenous peoples. Arabs form the majority or plurality in some parts of Rojava, in particular in the southern parts of the Jazira Canton, in Tell Abyad District and in Azaz District. While in Shahba region the term Arab is mainly used to denote Arabized Kurds and Arabized Syrians, in Kobanî Canton and in Jazira Canton it mainly denotes ethnic Arab bedouin population.
Two ethnic groups have a significant presence in certain cantons of Rojava:
- Assyrians are an ethnoreligious group. Their presence in Syria is in Jazira Canton of Rojava, particularly in the urban areas (Qamishli, al-Hasakah, Ras al-Ayn), in the northeastern corner and in villages along the Khabur River in the Tell Tamer area. They traditionally speak varieties of Syriac-Aramaic. There are many Assyrians among recent refugees to Rojava, fleeing Islamist violence elsewhere in Syria back to their traditional lands. In the secular polyethnic political climate of Rojava, the Dawronoye modernization movement has a growing influence on Assyrian identity in the 21st century.
- Turkmen are an ethnic group with a major presence in Shahba region, where they form regional majorities in the countryside from Azaz and Mare' to Jarabulus, and a minor presence in Afrin Canton and Kobanî Canton.
Four languages from three different language families are spoken in Rojava:
- Kurdish (in Northern Kurdish dialect), a Northwestern Iranian language from the family of Indo-European languages
- Arabic (in North Mesopotamian Arabic dialect, in writing Modern Standard Arabic), a Central Semitic language from the family of Semitic languages
- Syriac-Aramaic in the Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic and Turoyo variety, Northwest Semitic languages from the family of Semitic languages
- Turkish (in Syrian Turkmen dialect), from the family of Turkic languages
For these four languages, three different scripts are in use in Rojava:
- The Latin alphabet for Kurdish and Turkish
- The Arabic alphabet (abjad) for Arabic
- The Syriac alphabet for Syriac-Aramaic
Most ethnic Kurdish and Arab people in Rojava adhere to Sunni Islam, while ethnic Assyrian people generally are Syriac Orthodox, Chaldean Catholic or Syriac Catholic Christians. There are also adherents to other faiths, such as Zoroastrianism and Yazidism. Many people in Rojava support secularism and laicism. The dominant PYD party and the political administration in Rojava are decidedly secular and laicist and contrary to most of the Middle East, religion is no marker of socio-political identity.
This list includes all cities and towns administered under the Rojava framework with more than 10,000 inhabitants. The population figures are given according to the 2004 Syrian census. Cities highlighted in white are fully under the control of Rojava. Cities highlighted in light grey are partially controlled by Rojava and partially controlled by the Syrian government. Cities in boldface are capitals of their respective cantons.
|English Name||Kurdish Name||Arabic Name||Syriac Name||Turkish Name||Population||Canton|
|Kobani||Kobanî||عين العرب||Arappınar||44,821||Kobani Canton|
|Ras al-Ayn||Serêkaniyê||رأس العين||ܪܝܫ ܥܝܢܐ||Resülayn||29,347||Jazira Canton|
|Al-Malikiyah||Dêrika Hemko||المالكية||ܕܪܝܟ||Deyrik||26,311||Jazira Canton|
|Tell Rifaat||Arpêt||تل رفعت||Tel Rıfat||20,514||Shahba region|
|Al-Qahtaniyah||Tirbespî||القحطانية||ܩܒܪ̈ܐ ܚܘܪ̈ܐ||Kubur el Bid||16,946||Jazira Canton|
|Al-Muabbada||Girkê Legê||المعبدة||Muabbada||15,759||Jazira Canton|
|Tell Abyad||Girê Spî||تل أبيض||Tel Abyad||14,825||Kobani Canton|
|Al-Sabaa wa Arbain||السبعة وأربعين||El Seba ve Arbayn||14,177||Jazira Canton|
Relations with the Syrian government
For the time being, the relations of Rojava to the state of Syria are determined by the context of the Syrian civil war. As for the time being, the Constitution of Syria and the Constitution of Rojava are legally incompatible with respect to legislative and executive authority. Practical interaction is pragmatic ad hoc. In the military realm, combat between the Rojava People's Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian government forces has been rare, in the most notable instances some of the territory still controlled by the Syrian government in Qamishli and al-Hasakah has been lost to the YPG. In some military campaigns, in particular in northern Aleppo governate and in al-Hasakah, there has been a tacit cooperation between the YPG and Syrian government forces against Islamist forces, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and others.
The Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava is not drafted as an ethnic Kurdistan region, but rather a blueprint for a future polyethnic, decentralised and democratic Syria. Rojava is the birthplace and main sponsor of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Democratic Council, a military and a political umbrella organisation, with the agenda of implementing a secular, democratic and federalist system for all of Syria. In July 2016, Constituent Assembly co-chair Hediya Yousef formulated Rojava's approach towards Syria as follows:
We believe that a federal system is ideal form of governance for Syria. We see that in many parts of the world, a federal framework enables people to live peacefully and freely within territorial borders. The people of Syria can also live freely in Syria. We will not allow for Syria to be divided; all we want is the democratization of Syria; its citizens must live in peace, and enjoy and cherish the ethnic diversity of the national groups inhabiting the country.
In March 2015, the Syrian Information Minister announced that his government considered recognizing the Kurdish autonomy "within the law and constitution." While the Rojava administration is not invited to the Geneva III peace talks on Syria, or any of the earlier talks, in particular Russia, which calls for their inclusion, does to some degree carry their positions into the talks, as documented in Russia's May 2016 draft for a new constitution for Syria. In October 2016, a Russian initiative for federalization with a focus on northern Syria was reported, which at its core called to turn the existing institutions of the Federation of Northern Syria - Rojava into legitimate institutions of Syria; also reported was its rejection for the time being by the Syrian government. The Damascus ruling elite is split over the question whether the new model in Rojava can work in parallel and converge with the Syrian government, for the benefit of both, or if the agenda should be to centralize again all power at the end of the civil war, necessitating preparation for ultimate confrontation with the Rojava institutions.
Rojava as a transnational topic
The socio-political transformations of the "Rojava revolution" have inspired much attention in international media, both in mainstream media and in dedicated progressive leftist media. The narrative was first established with an October 2014 piece by David Graeber in The Guardian:
The autonomous region of Rojava, as it exists today, is one of few bright spots – albeit a very bright one – to emerge from the tragedy of the Syrian revolution. Having driven out agents of the Assad regime in 2011, and despite the hostility of almost all of its neighbours, Rojava has not only maintained its independence, but is a remarkable democratic experiment. Popular assemblies have been created as the ultimate decision-making bodies, councils selected with careful ethnic balance (in each municipality, for instance, the top three officers have to include one Kurd, one Arab and one Assyrian or Armenian Christian, and at least one of the three has to be a woman), there are women's and youth councils, and, in a remarkable echo of the armed Mujeres Libres (Free Women) of Spain, a feminist army, the "YJA Star" militia (the "Union of Free Women", the star here referring to the ancient Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar), that has carried out a large proportion of the combat operations against the forces of Islamic State.
The "Rojava revolution" in its diverse aspects is a hotly debated topic in libertarian socialist and communalist as well as generally anti-capitalist circles worldwide.[note 1]
Rojava's dominant political party, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), is a member organisation of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) organisation. As KCK member organisations in the neighbouring states with autochthonous Kurdish minorities are either outlawed (Turkey, Iran) or politically marginal with respect to other Kurdish parties (Iraq), PYD-governed Rojava has acquired the role of a model for the KCK political agenda and blueprint in general.
There is much sympathy for Rojava in particular among Kurds in Turkey. During the Siege of Kobanî, a large number of ethnic Kurdish citizens of Turkey crossed the border and volunteered in the defence of the town. Some of these upon their return to Turkey took up arms in the Kurdish–Turkish conflict, where skills acquired by them during combat in Kobanî brought a new quality of urban warfare to the conflict in Turkey.
The relationship of Rojava with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq is complicated. One context being that the governing party there, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), views itself and its affiliated Kurdish parties in other countries as a more conservative and nationalist alternative and competitor to the KCK political agenda and blueprint in general. The "Sultanistic system" of Iraqi Kurdistan stands in stark contrast to the Democratic Confederalist system of Rojava.
Like the KCK umbrella in general, and even more so, the PYD attempts to denounce the ideology of nationalism, including Kurdish nationalism. They stand in stark contrast to Kurdish nationalist visions of the Iraqi Kurdish KDP sponsored Kurdish National Council in Syria.
Rojava's most notable role in the international arena is comprehensive military cooperation of its militias under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) umbrella with the United States and the international (US-led) coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In a public statement in March 2016, the day after the declaration of the Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter praised the Rojava People's Protection Units (YPG) militia as having "proven to be excellent partners of ours on the ground in fighting ISIL. We are grateful for that, and we intend to continue to do that, recognizing the complexities of their regional role." Late October 2016, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of the international Anti-ISIL-coalition, said that the SDF would lead the impending assault on Raqqa, ISIL's stronghold and capital, and that SDF commanders would plan the operation with advice from American and coalition troops.
In the diplomatic field, Rojava lacks any formal recognition. While there is comprehensive activity of reception of Rojava representatives and appreciation with a broad range of countries, only Russia has on occasion openly and boldly supported Rojava's political ambition of Federalization of Syria in the international arena, while the U.S. do not. After peace talks between Syrian civil war parties in Astana in January 2017, Russia offered a draft for a future constitution of Syria, which would inter alia turn the "Syrian Arab Republic" into the "Republic of Syria", introduce decentralized authorities as well as elements of federalism like "association areas", strengthen the parliament at the cost of the presidency, and realize secularism by abolishing Islamic jurisprudence as a source of legislation. The Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava over the course of 2016 opened official representation offices in Moscow, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, and The Hague. A broad range of public voices in the U.S. and Europe have called for more formal recognition of Rojava. Notable international cooperation has been in the field of educational and cultural institutions, like the cooperation agreement of Paris 8 University with the newly founded University of Rojava in Qamishli, or planning for a French cultural centre in Amuda.
Neighbouring Turkey is persistently hostile, because it feels threatened by Rojava's emergence encouraging activism for autonomy among Kurds in Turkey and the Kurdish–Turkish conflict, and in this context in particular Rojava's leading Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the YPG militia being members of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) network of organisations, which also includes both political and militant assertively Kurdish organizations in Turkey itself, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Turkey's policy towards Rojava is based on an economic blockade, persistent attempts of international isolation, opposition to the cooperation between the American-led anti-ISIL coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces, and support of Islamist opposition fighters hostile towards Rojava, including ISIL. Turkey has on several occasions attacked Rojava territory and defence forces using military means. The latter has resulted in some of the most clearcut instances of international solidarity with Rojava.
- Syrian Democratic Council
- Executive Council (Rojava)
- Syrian Democratic Forces
- Human rights in Rojava
- Foreign relations of Rojava
- Iranian Kurdistan
- Iraqi Kurdistan
- Turkish Kurdistan
- Diverse aspects of the Rojava revolution have led some anti-capitalists to criticise the revolution for not going far enough e.g., 'Anarchist Federation statement on the Rojava revolution'; Gilles Dauve, 'Rojava: reality and rhetoric'; Alex de Jong, 'Stalinist caterpillar into libertarian butterfly? - the evolving ideology of the PKK'; Anti-war, '‘I have seen the future and it works.’ – Critical questions for supporters of the Rojava revolution', 'The grim reality of the Rojava Revolution - from an anarchist eyewitness' and Devrim Valerian, 'The bloodbath in Syria: class war or ethnic war?'. Other anti-capitalists have been significantly less critical e.g. David Graeber, 'No. This is a Genuine Revolution'; Janet Biehl, 'Poor in means but rich in spirit', 'From Germany to Bakur' and the Kurdistan Anarchist Forum.
- "Syrian Kurds declare Qamishli as capital for the new federal system". ARA News. 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
- "Syrian Kurds declare new federation in bid for recognition". Middle East Eye. 17 March 2016.
- "A Dream of Secular Utopia in ISIS' Backyard". New York Times. 2015-11-24. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- In der Maur, Renée; Staal, Jonas (2015). "Introduction". Stateless Democracy (PDF). Utrecht: BAK. p. 19. ISBN 978-90-77288-22-1.
- Estimate as of mid November 2014, including numerous refugees. "Rojava’s population has nearly doubled to about 4.6 million. The newcomers are Sunni and Shia Syrian Arabs who have fled from violence taking place in southern parts of Syria. There are also Syrian Christians members of the Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, and others, driven out by Islamist forces. "In Iraq and Syria, it's too little, too late". Ottawa Citizen. 14 November 2014.
- "The Constitution of the Rojava Cantons". Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Delegation from the Democratic administration of Self-participate of self-participate in the first and second conference of the Shaba region". 4 February 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- "Syria Kurds challenging traditions, promote civil marriage". ARA News. 2016-02-20. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
- Carl Drott (25 May 2015). "The Revolutionaries of Bethnahrin". Warscapes. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Jongerden, Joost (5–6 December 2012). "Rethinking Politics and Democracy in the Middle East" (PDF). Ekurd.net. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Kurdish 'Angelina Jolie' devalued by media hype". BBC. 2016-09-12. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- "Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava)".
- "Yekîneya Antî Teror a Rojavayê Kurdistanê hate avakirin". Ajansa Nûçeyan a Hawar (in Kurdish). 7 April 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- Kurdish Awakening: Nation Building in a Fragmented Homeland, (2014), by Ofra Bengio, University of Texas Press
- "Chechens, Arabs and Kurds in Serêkaniyê fighting shoulder to shoulder against ISIS".
- mahmou415 (24 August 2015). "Faction Guide of the Syrian war – Part 4 – Rojava Kurds".
- "PYD leader: SDF operation for Raqqa countryside in progress, Syria can only be secular". ARA News. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "Syria civil war: Kurds declare federal region in north". Aljazeera. 17 March 2016.
- Bradley, Matt; Albayrak, Ayla; Ballout, Dana. "Kurds Declare 'Federal Region' in Syria, Says Official". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-03-18.
- "Fight For Kobane May Have Created A New Alliance In Syria: Kurds And The Assad Regime". International Business Times. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Syria's war: Assad on the offensive". The Economist. 2016-02-13. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- "ANALYSIS: 'This is a new Syria, not a new Kurdistan'". MiddleEastEye. 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
- "Second day of Northern Syria Constituent Assembly conference takes place". Hawar News Agency. 28 December 2016.
- "Syrian Kurdish groups, allies say approve blueprint for federal system". Reuters. 2016-12-29. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
- "'Rojava' no longer exists, 'Northern Syria' adopted instead". Kurdistan24. 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
- Assyria 1995: Proceedings of the 10th Anniversary Symposium of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project / Helsinki, September 7–11, 1995.
- Crook; et al. (1985). The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 9: The Last Age of the Roman Republic, 146–43 BC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 603. ISBN 978-1139054379.
- Andrea,, Alfred J.; Overfield, James H. (2015). The Human Record: Sources of Global History, Volume I: To 1500 (8 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 133. ISBN 978-1305537460.
- Daryaee, Touraj (2014). Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B.Tauris. p. 33. ISBN 978-0857716668.
- Philip G. Kreyenbroek, Stefan Sperl (1992). The Kurds: a contemporary overview (Reprint. ed.). London: Routledge. p. 114. ISBN 0-415-07265-4.
- Yildiz, Kerim (2005). The Kurds in Syria : the forgotten people (1. publ. ed.). London [etc.]: Pluto Press, in association with Kurdish Human Rights Project. p. 25. ISBN 0745324991.
- Tejel, Jordi (2008). Syria's Kurds: history, politics and society (1. publ. ed.). London: Routledge. p. 10. ISBN 0415424402.
- Travis, Hannibal. Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2010, 2007, pp. 237–77, 293–294.
- Hovannisian, Richard G., 2007. [The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies https://books.google.com/books?id=K3monyE4CVQC]. Accessed on 11 November 2014.
- R. S. Stafford (2006). The Tragedy of the Assyrians. pp. 24–25.
- Jordi Tejel, 2008. [Syria's Kurds: History, Politics and Society https://books.google.com/books?id=g4f54qsU618C&].
- Syria's Kurds: History, Politics and Society (PDF). pp. 25–29.
- "Ray J. Mouawad, Syria and Iraq – Repression Disappearing Christians of the Middle East". Middle East Forum. 2001. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- Bat Yeʼor (2002). Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide. p. 162.
- Abu Fakhr, Saqr, 2013. As-Safir daily Newspaper, Beirut. in Arabic Christian Decline in the Middle East: A Historical View
- Dawn Chatty (2010). Displacement and Dispossession in the Modern Middle East. Cambridge University Press. pp. 230–232. ISBN 978-1-139-48693-4.
- "The Silenced Kurds". Human Rights Watch. 8 (4). October 1996.
- Marcus, Aliza (2009). Blood and belief: the PKK and the Kurdish fight for independence (1. publ. in paperback. ed.). New York: New York University Press. p. 61. ISBN 0814795870.
- "After 52-year ban, Syrian Kurds now taught Kurdish in schools". Al-Monitor. 6 November 2015.
- Abboud, Samer N. (2015). Syria. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0745698018.
- "Efrîn Economy Minister: Rojava Challenging Norms Of Class, Gender And Power".
- "Persecution and Discrimination against Kurdish Citizens in Syria, Report for the 12th session of the UN Human Rights Council" (PDF). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 2009.
- Tejel, Jordi; Welle, Jane (2009). Syria's kurds history, politics and society (PDF) (1. publ. ed.). London: Routledge. pp. X–X. ISBN 0-203-89211-9.
- "A murder stirs Kurds in Syria". The Christian Science Monitor.
- "HRW World Report 2010". Human Rights Watch. 2010.
- "Armed Kurds Surround Syrian Security Forces in Qamishli". Rudaw. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- "Girke Lege Becomes Sixth Kurdish City Liberated in Syria". Rudaw. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- "In Syria, a Battle Between Radical Leftism and Militant Islam". Harvard Political Review. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- "The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes". Anarkismo.net. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- "Syria's Kurds declare de-facto federal region in north". Associated Press. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Syrian Kurds in six-month countdown to federalism". 12 April 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- "After approving constitution, what's next for Syria's Kurds?". Al-Monitor. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- "Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians talk to Enab Baladi about the "Federal Constitution" in Syria". 26 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- "Syrian Kurds, allies set to approve new government blueprint". Reuters. 28 December 2016.
- "2014 Charter of the Social Contract of Rojava". Peace in Kurdistan. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
- Andrea Glioti, Rojava: A libertarian myth under scrutiny, Al-Jazeera (6 August 2016).
- "Writings of Obscure American Leftist Drive Kurdish Forces in Syria". Voice of America. 16 January 2017.
- "Kurdish Supreme Committee in Syria Holds First Meeting". Rudaw. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- "Now Kurds are in charge of their fate: Syrian Kurdish official". Ekurd.net. Rudaw. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- "YPG, backed by al-Khabour Guards Forces, al-Sanadid army and the Syriac Military Council, expels IS out of more than 230 towns, villages and farmlands". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 28 May 2015. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- Gupta, Rahila (9 April 2016). "Rojava's commitment to Jineolojî: the science of women". openDemocracy. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "A Very Different Ideology in the Middle East". Rudaw.
- Karlos Zurutuza (28 October 2014). "Democracy is "Radical" in Northern Syria". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "Dêrîk congress decides to establish Democratic Syria Assembly". Firat News Agency. kurdishinfo. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- "Haytham Manna Elected Joint Chairman of Syrian Democratic Council". The Syrian Observer. 2015-10-14. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- "Executive Board of Democratic Syria Assembly elected". Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê English. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- "Striking out on their own". The Economist.
- "Western Kurdistan's Governmental Model Comes Together". The Rojava Report. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- David Commins; David W. Lesch (2013-12-05) (in German), Historical Dictionary of Syria, Scarecrow Press, pp. 239, ISBN 9780810879669, https://books.google.com/books?id=wpBWAgAAQBAJ
- "Education in Rojava after the revolution". ANF. 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- "After 52-year ban, Syrian Kurds now taught Kurdish in schools". Al-Monitor. 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Rojava schools to re-open with PYD-approved curriculum". Rudaw. 2015-08-29. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Hassakeh: Syriac Language to Be Taught in PYD-controlled Schools". The Syrian Observer. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
- "Kurds introduce own curriculum at schools of Rojava". ARA News. 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Revolutionary Education in Rojava". New Compass. 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- "Education in Rojava: Academy and Pluralistic versus University and Monisma". Kurdishquestion. 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "The Assyrians of Syria: History and Prospects". AINA. 2015-12-21. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Syriac Christians revive ancient language despite war". ARA News. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
- "Rojava administration launches new curriculum in Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian". ARA News. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
- "Kurds establish university in Rojava amid Syrian instability". Kurdistan24. 2016-07-07. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "Revolutionary Education in Rojava". New Compass. 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Syria's first Kurdish university attracts controversy as well as students". Al-Monitor. 2016-05-18. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
- "'University of Rojava' to be opened". ANF. 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2016-07-04.
- "Rojava university seeks to eliminate constraints on education in Syria's Kurdish region". ARA News. 2016-08-15. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
- "Syria Country report, Freedom of the Press 2015". Freedom House. 2015. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- "In blow to Kurdish independent media, Syrian Kurdish website shuts down". ARA News. 2016-05-15. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- "Syria's first Kurdish radio station burnt". Kurdistan24. 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- "Syrian Kurdish administration condemns burning of radio ARTA FM office in Amude". ARA News. 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- "انترنت في الحسكة والقامشلي خلال 10 أيام". syriannewscenter.net. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
- "Kurdish art, music flourish as regime fades from northeast Syria". Al-Monitor. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "هيئة الثقافة تفتتح معرضاً في سري كانيه بالحسكة" (in Arabic). ARA News. 12 September 2015.
- A Small Key Can Open a Large Door: The Rojava Revolution (1st ed.). Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness. 4 March 2015.
- Michael Knapp, 'Rojava – the formation of an economic alternative: Private property in the service of all'.
- "How do cooperatives work in Rojava?". cooperativeeconomy.info. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- A Small Key Can Open a Large Door: The Rojava Revolution (1st ed.). Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness. 4 March 2015.
According to Dr. Ahmad Yousef, an economic co-minister, three-quarters of traditional private property is being used as commons and one quarter is still being owned by use of individuals...According to the Ministry of Economics, worker councils have only been set up for about one third of the enterprises in Rojava so far.
- "Poor in means but rich in spirit". Ecology or Catastrophe. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Efrîn Economy Minister Yousef: Rojava challenging norms of class, gender and power". Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "In Syria's Mangled Economy, Truckers Stitch Together Warring Regions". Wall Street Journal. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
- "Rojava's Sustainability and the PKK's Regional Strategy". Washington Institute. 24 August 2016.
- "Will Syria's Kurds succeed at self-sufficiency?". 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Flight of Icarus? The PYD's Precarious Rise in Syria" (PDF). International Crisis Group.
- "Zamana LWSL".
- "Efrîn Economy Minister: Rojava Challenging Norms Of Class, Gender And Power". 22 December 2014.
- "Kurds Fight Islamic State to Claim a Piece of Syria". The Wall Street Journal.
- "US welcomes opening of border between Rojava and Iraqi Kurdistan". 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- "Syrian Kurds risk their lives crossing into Turkey". Middle East Eye. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Das Embargo gegen Rojava". TATORT (Kurdistan Delegation). Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Rojava: The Economic Branches in Detail". cooperativeeconomy.info. 14 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "Syria". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. p. 13. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
- "Islamic Family Law: Syria (Syrian Arab Republic)". Law.emory.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
- "Syrian Kurds tackle conscription, underage marriages and polygamy". ARA News. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
- "Power to the people: a Syrian experiment in democracy". Financial Times. 2015-10-23. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "The New Justice System in Rojava". biehlonbookchin.com. 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "Syrian Kurds Get Outside Help to Manage Prisons". Voice of America. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "Syria: Arbitrary detentions and blatantly unfair trials mar PYD fight against terrorism". Amnesty International. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- "Highest to Lowest - Prison Population Rate". World Prison Brief.
- "Rojava Asayish: Security institution not above but within the society". ANF. 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "Rojava Dispatch Six: Innovations, the Formation of the Hêza Parastina Cewherî (HPC)". Modern Slavery.
- Rudaw (6 April 2015). "Rojava defense force draws thousands of recruits". Rudaw. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- "ZCommunications » "No. This is a Genuine Revolution"". zcomm.org.
- Gold, Danny (31 October 2010). "Meet the YPG, the Kurdish Militia That Doesn't Want Help from Anyone". Vice. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Syria: Abuses in Kurdish-run Enclaves". Human Rights Watch. 2014-06-18.
- "Syria". Amnesty International. 13 October 2015.
- "Amnesty accuses US-backed Syrian Kurdish group of demolishing homes". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.
- "Syria: Kurdish Forces Violating Child Soldier Ban Despite Promises, Children Still Fight". Hurriyet Daily News. 2015-10-24. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
- Perry, Tom; Malla, Naline (10 September 2015). "Western states train Kurdish force in Syria, force's leader says". Reuters.
Amnesty International this month faulted the Kurdish administration for arbitrary detentions and unfair trials.... [Ciwan] Ibrahim said ... efforts were underway to improve its human rights record.... The Geneva Call ... promotes good treatment of civilians in war zones...
- "Syrian Kurds give women equal rights, snubbing jihadists". Yahoo. 9 November 2014.
- "Power to the people: a Syrian experiment in democracy". Financial Times. 23 October 2015.
- Meredith Tax (14 October 2016). "The Rojava Model". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- Si Sheppard (25 October 2016). "What the Syrian Kurds Have Wrought. The radical, unlikely, democratic experiment in northern Syria". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
- "Assyrian leader accuses PYD of monopolizing power in Syria's north". ARA. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- "Syria rejects Russian proposal for Kurdish federation". Al-Monitor. 24 October 2016.
- "Syrian Kurds provide safe haven for thousands of Iraqis fleeing ISIS". ARA News. 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
- "Rojava hosts thousands of displaced Iraqi civilians as war on ISIS intensifies". ARA News. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
- Killing of Iraq Kurds 'genocide', BBC, "The Dutch court said it considered "legally and convincingly proven that the Kurdish population meets requirement under Genocide Conventions as an ethnic group"."
- "Kurds". The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Encyclopedia.com. 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Izady, Mehrdad R. (1992). The Kurds: A Concise Handbook. Taylor & Francis. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-8448-1727-9.
- Bois, T.; Minorsky, V.; MacKenzie, D.N. (2009). "Kurds, Kurdistan". In Bearman, P.; Bianquis, T.; Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W. P. Encyclopaedia Islamica. Brill.
The Kurds, an Iranian people of the Near East, live at the junction of more or less laicised Turkey. ... We thus find that about the period of the Arab conquest a single ethnic term Kurd (plur. Akrād) was beginning to be applied to an amalgamation of Iranian or iranicised tribes. ... The classification of the Kurds among the Iranian nations is based mainly on linguistic and historical data and does not prejudice the fact there is a complexity of ethnical elements incorporated in them.
- Barbara A. West (1 January 2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania. Infobase Publishing. p. 518. ISBN 978-1-4381-1913-7.
- Frye, Richard Nelson. "IRAN v. PEOPLES OF IRAN (1) A General Survey". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
- "Culturally Sensitive Social Work Practice with Arab Clients in Mental Health Settings". www.socialworkers.org.
- Shoup, John A. Ethnic Groups of Africa and the Middle East: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598843620.
- Ethnic Groups of Africa and the Middle East: An Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Barakat, Halim (1993). The Arab world society, culture, and state. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0520914422.
- "Overview of Middle East - Minority Rights Group". Minority Rights Group.
- Dona J. Stewart (22 December 2008). The Middle East Today: Political, Geographical and Cultural Perspectives. Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-135-98078-8.
- Anthony Gorman; Andrew Newman (2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East. Infobase Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-4381-2676-0.
- W. Montgomery Watt; Pierre Cachia (1976). Who Is an Arab?. Carnegie Council.
- For Assyrians as indigenous to the Middle East, see
- Mordechai Nisan, Minorities in the Middle East: A History of Struggle and Self-Expression, p. 180
- James Minahan, Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: A-C, p. 206
- Carl Skutsch, Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities, p. 149
- Steven L. Danver, Native Peoples of the World: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues, p. 517
- UNPO Assyria
- Richard T. Schaefer, Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, p. 107
- James Minahan, Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: A-C, pp. 205-209
- For Assyrians speaking a Neo-Aramaic language, see
- The British Survey, By British Society for International Understanding, 1968, p. 3
- Carl Skutsch, Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities, p. 149
- Farzad Sharifian, René Dirven, Ning Yu, Susanne Niemeier, Culture, Body, and Language: Conceptualizations of Internal Body Organs across Cultures and Languages, p. 268
- UNPO Assyria
- "Glavin: In Iraq and Syria, it's too little, too late". Ottawa Citizen. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "HISTORY OF THE KURDISH LANGUAGE". Encyclopædia Iranica.
- D. N. MacKenzie (1961). "The Origins of Kurdish". Transactions of the Philological Society: 68–86.
- "Could Christianity be driven from Middle East?". BBC. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "2004 Syrian Census" (PDF). www.cbssyr.org. 2004. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- "Syrian Kurdish Official to Sputnik: 'We Won't Allow Dismemberment of Syria'". Sputnis News. 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- "KRG: Elections in Jazira are Not Acceptable". Basnews. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Syrian Kurds point finger at Western-backed opposition". Reuters. 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
- "Russia finishes draft for new Syria constitution". Now.MMedia/Al-Akhbar. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
- Ghadi Sary (September 2016). "Kurdish Self-governance in Syria: Survival and Ambition" (PDF). Chatham House.
- "The Kurds' Democratic Experiment". New York Times. 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Why is the world ignoring the revolutionary Kurds in Syria?". The Guardian. 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Regaining hope in Rojava". Slate. 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- "American Leftists Need to Pay More Attention to Rojava". Slate. 2015-11-25. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "The Revolution in Rojava". Dissent. 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "The Rojava revolution". OpenDemocracy. 2015-03-15. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Statement from the Academic Delegation to Rojava". New Compass. 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "What Kobani Means for Turkey's Kurds". The New Yorker. 8 November 2014.
- "6 reasons why Turkey's war against the PKK won't last". Al-Monitor. 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Kurdish Militants and Turkey's New Urban Insurgency". War On The Rocks. 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Kurdistan's Politicized Society Confronts a Sultanistic System". Carnegie Middle East Center. 2015-08-18. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
- "Syrian Kurdish leader: We will respect outcome of independence referendum". ARA News. 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
- "Kurdish National Council announces plan for setting up 'Syrian Kurdistan Region'". ARA News. 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
- "Inside Syria: Kurds Roll Back ISIS, but Alliances Are Strained". New York Times. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- Wladimir von Wilgenburg (23 May 2016). "ANALYSIS: Kurds welcome US support, but want more say on Syria's future". MiddleEastEye. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "Pentagon chief praises Kurdish fighters in Syria". Hurriyet Daily News. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "US general: Syrian Democratic Forces will lead the assault on Raqqa". Stars and Stripes. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- Taştekin, Fehim (12 February 2015). "Hollande-PYD meeting challenges Erdogan". Al-Monitor.
- "YPJ Commander Nesrin Abdullah speaks in Italian Parliament". JINHA. 2015-06-23. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- "Syrian Kurdish PYD, Turkey's HDP leaders attend 'Ocalan conference' in Athens". eKurd. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- "Build Kurdistan relationship or risk losing vital Middle East partner - News from Parliament". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- "Rome Declares Kobane 'Sister City'". Kurdishquestion. 2015-04-05. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
- "Mark C. Toner, Deputy Spokesperson. Daily Press Briefing. Washington, DC. November 7, 2016". United States Department of State. 2016-11-07. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- "US-led coalition has no intention to create federal Kurdish state in Syria: official". Ara news. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
- "Syria Opposition Rejects Russian Draft of New Constitution". Bloomberg. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "Syrian draft constitution recognizes Kurdish language, no mentions of federalism". Rudaw. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "رووداو تنشر مسودة الدستور السوري التي أعدها خبراء روس". Rudaw. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "Moscow invites Kurds and Syrian opposition to explain Astana". ARA News. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "Rojava's first representation office outside Kurdistan opens in Moscow". Nationalia. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "Syrian Kurds inaugurate representation office in Sweden". ARA News. 2016-04-18. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- "Berlin'de Rojava temsilciliği açıldı". Evrensel.net (in Turkish). 2016-05-07. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- "Syrian Kurds open unofficial representative mission in Paris". Al Arabiya. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- "Syrian Kurds inaugurate representation office in the Netherlands". ARA News. 2016-09-08. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
- Steven A. Cook (14 March 2016). "Between Ankara and Rojava". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- Kamran Matin (12 December 2016). "The Geneva Peace Talks on Syria and the Kurds". NRT. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
- "Rojava university seeks to eliminate constraints on education in Syria's Kurdish region". ARA News. 15 August 2016.
- "L'écrivain Patrice Franceschi veut créer un centre culturel au Kurdistan syrien". Europe1. 27 March 2016.
- "French delegation seeks to open cultural center in Rojava". NRT. 9 August 2016.
- "Kurds plan to set up French institute in Syria". ARA News. 8 September 2016.
- "From Rep. of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs".
- "Turkish President Erdoğan slams US over YPG support". Hurryiet Daily News. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
- "How Can Turkey Overcome Its Foreign Policy Mess?". Lobolog (Graham E. Fuller). 2016-02-19. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (12 June 2015). "The Rise of Jaysh al-Fateh in Northern Syria". Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- David L. Phillips (11 September 2014). "Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey Links". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "Senior Western official: Links between Turkey and ISIS are now 'undeniable'". Businessinsider. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- Burak Bekdil (Summer 2015). "Turkey's Double Game with ISIS". Middle East Quarterly. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "Turkey accused of shelling Kurdish-held village in Syria". The Guardian. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- "Turkey strikes Kurdish city of Afrin northern Syria, civilian casualties reported". ARA News. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- Christopher Phillips (22 September 2016). "Turkey's Syria Intervention: A Sign of Weakness Not Strength". Newsweek. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- Fehim Taştekin (9 September 2016). "US backing ensures Arab-Kurd alliance in Syria will survive". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "Germany warns Turkey from attacking Kurds in Syria". Iraqi News. 28 August 2016.
- "Moscow Concerned Over Turkish Airstrikes on Kurdish Positions in Syria - Lavrov". Sputnik News. 21 October 2016.
- U.S. Senator John McCain, Chairman of the United States Senate Armed Services Committee (27 October 2016). "Statement by SASC Chairman John McCain on Turkish Government Attacks on Syrian Kurds".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rojava.|