Syria’s largest Kurdish militia, the Peoples Protection Units (YPG), have announced they are joining a new rebel faction, initially dubbed the “Syrian Arab Coalition,” but subsequently renamed to the Democratic Forces now that they are dominated by a Kurdish faction.
The faction includes a handful of smaller Arab tribal militias, along with an Assyrian Christian faction. The group is said to be made up of about 3,200 fighters overall, though this is likely primarily the YPG itself, who controls significant territory in the Hasakeh Province.
Ironically, the YPG’s main city, Hasakeh, is co-defended by it and the Syrian government, so its ties to the rebellion in general are unclear. The promise of a massive influx of US weapons into this new faction, however, likely was sufficient to get them on board.
US military officials were quoted saying they were going to provide “fresh weapons” to the new faction, and get them to attack Raqqa, the capital of the ISIS caliphate. The rebels have expressed confidence that they could capture the city in “less than two months” if given enough weaponry, though most US efforts to arm rebels have ended up with ISIS coming out even stronger at the end, and with a bunch of new US-made weapons.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Tortured in Detention on US Soil, Qatari Man Maintains His Innocence - April 25th, 2018
- Chemical Inspectors Again Visit Syria's Douma, Collect More Samples - April 25th, 2018
- Russia Says Syria's New Air Defense Will Be Delivered Soon - April 25th, 2018
- Europeans Prepare Side-Deal to Try to Save Iran Nuclear Pact - April 25th, 2018
- Iran's President Rules Out Changes or Additions to Nuclear Deal - April 25th, 2018