People’s Protection Units or YPG
The People’s Protection Units (Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, یەکینەکانی پاراستنی گەل pronounced [jɑkinæjen pɑrɑstinɑ gæl]; YPG) is a Kurdish militia in Syria and the primary component of Rojava‘s Syrian Democratic Forces. The YPG is mostly ethnically Kurdish, but it also includes Arabs, Western volunteers, and the Syriac Military Council, a militia of Assyrian Christians.
|People’s Protection Units|
|Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG)
وحدات حماية الشعب
|Allegiance||Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava (2012–present)
Democratic Union Party(2004–present)
|Type||Light infantry militia|
|Part of||Syrian Democratic Forces|
|Motto(s)||YPG dimeşe, erd û ezman diheje (YPG is marching, and the earth and sky [or heavens] tremble)|
|Engagements||Syrian Civil War
|General Commander||Sîpan Hemo|
|Special forces commander||Ali Boutan †|
|Ciwan Îbrahîm, Roşna Akêd|
In early 2015, the group won a major victory over the Islamic State at the Siege of Kobanî, where the YPG began to receive air and ground support from the United States and other coalition nations. Since then, the YPG has primarily fought against ISIL, as well as on occasion fighting other Syrian rebel groups.
In late 2015, the YPG founded the Syrian Democratic Forces upon the US’s urging, as an umbrella group to better incorporate Arabs and minorities into the war effort. The SDF’s Raqqa offensive was launched in late 2016 to capture the Arab city of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital.