ISW Publishes New Backgrounder on Syrian Kurds and the Democratic Union Party (PYD)


  Contact: Maggie Rackl
(202) 293-5550 x205
The Kurds sit at a nexus of Turkish, Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi interests. As fighting continues across Syria, Syria’s Kurds will play an important role in the course of the conflict and their actions will have significant implications for regional relations.  
In a new Backgrounder titled “Syrian Kurds and the Democratic Union Party (PYD),” ISW Researcher John Caves examines the PYD within the context of regional Kurdish politics in order to forecast their likely course as the Syrian civil war continues to unfold.
In particular, the PYD has facilitated the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) activities in Syria, which it will likely continue to do unless the PKK is perceived by Syrian Kurds to interfere with their welfare. Furthermore, Turkey sees the Kurdish question as the most important threat to its stability.
The PKK and Iraqi Kurdish agendas in Syria could directly impact the Kurdish issue in Turkey, furthering Kurdish demands for autonomy and facilitating armed struggle.

To speak with John Caves, please contact Maggie Rackl at [email protected] or 202-293-5550 x205.

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The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives.