The People’s Protection Units (YPG), the largest Kurdish militia faction inside Syria, claims that with recent territorial gains over ISIS they have also dramatically expanded their recruitment efforts, adding another 5,000 fighters to their overall force.
Officially, the YPG says, this brings the number up to 40,000 full time fighters, though the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated that with auxiliaries the YPG is in excess of 50,000 fighters now, making it a force to be reckoned with in the Syrian Civil War.
YPG territory is largely in the northeast Hasakeh Province, with some territory in northern Aleppo Province, along the Turkish border. The group’s territory is bisected by ISIS territory. They have been primarily fighting ISIS, and have been backed by the Syrian military in holding Hasakeh itself from ISIS.
Increasingly, however, the YPG sees its primary enemy as Turkey, which has been condemning the group’s increased influence along the border, believing it is a “national security threat” and pushing for the US to stop supporting them with airstrikes on ISIS.
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