Legitimising Terror: The PYD/YPG, Syrian Kurds and the Myth of Representation

This study points towards the assumption often repeated in media and policy circles in the West that the PYD/YPG is representative of Syrian-Kurds, which is clearly no more than a myth at best, and a falsehood at worst.

The war in Syria has provided terrorist groups with new opportunities to expand their support base and fields of operations. The most significant example of this is the PYD/YPG, the Syria branch of the radical Marxist terror group PKK. Renowned and respected human rights NGOs, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have documented the PYD/YPG’s human rights violations, forced displacement of civilians and systematic conscription of child soldiers. Furthermore, political activities of other Kurdish political groups, such as Kurdish National Council (KNC) and Syrian Kurdistan Democratic Party (SDKP), have been blocked by oppressive PYD/ YPG policies. However, the PYD/YPG’s confrontation with Daesh has led to a rapprochement with the US. Yet, US support for the group reflects a deep contradiction in American foreign policy: PYD/YPG clearly espouse tactics and ideas that go against the liberal norms and values the US upholds. This study points towards the assumption often repeated in media and policy circles in the West that the PYD/YPG is representative of Syrian-Kurds, which is clearly no more than a myth at best, and a falsehood at worst.

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