Syrian Democratic Forces
This article may contain excessive or inappropriate references to self-published sources. (November 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Syrian Democratic Forces (Arabic: قوات سوريا الديمقراطية, translit. Quwwāt Sūriyā al-Dīmuqrāṭīya, Kurdish: Hêzên Sûriya Demokratîk, Classical Syriac: ܚܝ̈ܠܘܬܐ ܕܣܘܪܝܐ ܕܝܡܩܪܛܝܬܐ, translit. Ḥaylawotho d'Suriya Demoqraṭoyto), commonly abbreviated as SDF, HSD or QSD, is an alliance of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian/Syriac militias, as well as some smaller Turkmen and Chechen participation in the Syrian Civil War. The SDF is militarily led by the People's Protection Units (YPG), a mostly Kurdish militia. Founded in October 2015, the SDF states its mission as fighting to create a secular, democratic and federal Syria. The updated December 2016 constitution of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria names the SDF as its official defence force.
The primary opponents of the SDF are the various Islamist and Arab nationalist rebel groups involved in the civil war, in particular the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkey-backed Syrian opposition groups, al-Qaeda affiliates, and their allies. The SDF has focused primarily on ISIL, successfully driving them from important strategic areas, such as Al-Hawl, Shaddadi, Tishrin Dam, Manbij, al-Tabqah, Tabqa Dam, Baath Dam, and ISIL's former capital of Raqqa.
The establishment of the SDF was announced on 11 October 2015 during a press conference in al-Hasakah. The alliance built on longstanding previous cooperation between the founding partners. While the People's Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, YPG) and the Women's Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Jin, YPJ) had been operating throughout the cantons of the DFNS, the other founding partners were more geographically focused.
Geographically focused on Kobanî Canton were the YPG's partners in the Euphrates Volcano joint operations room, several mainstream Syrian rebel factions of the Free Syrian Army, who had helped defend the Kurdish town of Kobanî during the Siege of Kobanî. Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa was also in Euphrates Volcano, and it expelled by the al-Nusra Front and ISIL from the city of Raqqa for being allied with the YPG since April 2014. The group participated in the capture of Tell Abyad from the Islamic State.
Geographically focused on Jazira Canton were the Assyrian Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulhoyo Suryoyo, MFS) and the al-Sanadid Forces of the Arab Shammar tribe, both of whom had cooperated with the YPG in fighting ISIL since 2013. The MFS is further politically aligned with the YPG via their shared secular ideology of democratic confederalism, which in the Assyrian community is known as the Dawronoye movement.
Geographically focused on the Shahba region was the Army of Revolutionaries (Jaysh al-Thuwar, JAT), itself an alliance of several groups of diverse ethnic and political backgrounds, who had in common that they had been rejected by the mainstream Syrian opposition for secular, anti-Islamist views and affiliations. However, most of the JAT component groups have always used the Free Syrian Army label and continue to use it.
The following groups signed the founding document:
- People's Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, YPG)
- Women's Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Jin, YPJ)
- Al-Sanadid Forces
- Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulhoyo Suryoyo, MFS)
- Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa
- Euphrates Volcano
- Army of Revolutionaries (Jaysh al-Thuwar, JAT)
- 99th Infantry Brigade
- Brigade Groups of al-Jazira
On 10 December 2015, after a two-day conference, The Syrian Democratic Council was established as a political platform of the SDF. Human rights activist Haytham Manna was co-chairman at its founding. The Assembly that established the Syrian Democratic Council was made up of 13 members from specific ethnic, economic and political backgrounds.
Syrian Arab CoalitionEdit
The Syrian Arab Coalition is claimed by the U.S. government as an alliance of programmatically exclusively ethnic Arab militias established during the Syrian Civil War. In this narrative, it consists of exclusively ethnic Arab component groups of the SDF alliance, such as the al-Sanadid Forces, the Deir ez-Zor Military Council, Arab units within the Army of Revolutionaries, along with smaller factions.
Size, growth and compositionEdit
- At the end of October 2015, the al-Shaitat tribal militia, the Desert Hawks Brigade joined the SDF to fight ISIL in the southern countryside of Hasakah Governorate.
- On 15 November 2015, the FSA group Euphrates Jarabulus Battalions announced its accession to the Syrian Democratic Forces.
- On 2 December 2015, members of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate-based Arab tribe al-Shaitat joined the SDF, sending fighters to al-Shaddadah.
With continuous growth in particular due to Arab groups and volunteers joining, as of March 2016 only an estimated 60% of the men and women in the SDF fighting force were ethnic Kurdish. Growth in particular of ethnic Arab, Turkmen and Assyrian participation in the SDF has since continued. In an interview on the first anniversary of the SDF's founding, spokesman Talal Silo, an ethnic Turkmen and former commander of the Seljuq Brigade, stated that "we started with 13 factions and now there are 32 factions", and that "90 percent" of the SDF growth since it began its operations were ethnic Arab. In the context of the November 2016 Northern Raqqa offensive, The Economist claimed the SDF fighting force to be composed of "about 20,000 YPG fighters and about 10,000 Arabs". The next month in December 2016, Colonel John Dorrian, the Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman, stated that the SDF contains around 45,000 fighters, of which more than 13,000 are Arabs.
- On 6 January 2016 an additional 400 members of the Arab Deir ez-Zor Governorate-based tribe al-Shaitat joined the SDF, sending fighters to Al-Shaddadah.
- On 5 February 2016, a group called Martyrs of Dam Brigade from an Arab village called al-Makhmar (liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Tishrin Dam offensive) joined the Northern Sun Battalion and the SDF.
- On 28 February 2016, a group called Martyr Qasim Areef Battalion from Sarrin was formed and joined the Army of Revolutionaries and the SDF.
- On 10 March 2016, a group called the Soldiers of the Two Holy Mosques Brigade joined the Syrian Democratic Forces as part of the Northern Sun Battalion. It was formerly part of the Army of Mujahideen's 19th Division. The group operated in the northern Aleppo Governorate countryside, and also have a presence in Aleppo city and Kobani.
- On 12 March 2016, it was reported that more than 200 locals from the earlier liberated areas around the town of Shaddadi joined the SDF, most of them Arabs.
- On 19 March 2016, it was reported that a group under the name of Liwa Ahrar al-Raqqa ("Free Raqqa Brigade") joined the SDF. The group had earlier been known under the name of Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah ("Jihad in the Path of God Brigade") and had in September 2014 been part of the Euphrates Volcano operations room.
- On 2 April 2016 the SDF established the Manbij Military Council with the goal of securing the city of Manbij and its surrounding countryside (Manbij offensive). The council also included previously unknown groups such as the Manbij Revolutionaries Battalion, or the Manbij Turkmen Brigade which joined the Northern Sun Battalion of the Army of Revolutionaries.
- On 20 June 2016, a group called the Tel Rifaat Revolutionaries Battalion, with 250 members, joined the Kurdish Front of the Army of Revolutionaries.
- On 23 June 2016 in the al-Shaddadah area, 158 al-Shaitat tribesmen from the FSA group Elite Forces, which was not yet an SDF component group at the time, defected to join the SDF component group, the Desert Hawks Brigade, consisting of members of that tribe.
- On 14 August 2016, after securing Manbij, the SDF established the al-Bab Military Council with the goal of securing the city of al-Bab and its surrounding countryside.
- On 21 August, in a similar fashion to the establishment of the Manbij and al-Bab Military Councils, the SDF established the Jarablus Military Council with the goal of securing the city of Jarablus and its surrounding countryside. The council also includes the newly established group, the Manbij Revolutionary Brigades. The commander of the council, General Sattar Jader from Jarabulus Hawks Brigades, was assassinated the next day, a suspect was later arrested.
- On 13 September 2016 the al-Nukhbat Brigade, consisting of members from the al-Shaitat and Shammar tribes and led by Ahmad Jarba, joined the SDF. While some of its members already had earlier defected and joined the SDF, the event was considered a major political coup for the SDF, as Jarba was the former President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and now agreed to work with the Syrian Democratic Council framework instead.
- On 14 October 2016, the Free Officers Union, led by Hussam Awak, claimed to number in the hundreds joined the SDF.
- On 31 October 2016, an all-female battalion was established within' the al-Bab Military Council.
- On 8 December 2016, the Deir ez-Zor Military Council was established. The founding members consist of remnants of the former Free Syrian Army council of the same name, expelled from the city by the Islamic State in 2014, having joined the SDF in November 2016.
According to a March 2017 statement of the Spokesman for the International Coalition forces, U.S. Colonel John Dorrian, 75 percent of the SDF forces fighting in Operation Wrath of Euphrates to isolate ISIL's de facto capital of Raqqa were Syrian Arabs, a reflection of the demographic composition of that area. "The Syrian Democratic Forces are a multi-ethnic and multi-sectarian organization, and that is one of the reasons why we're working with them and they have continued to build the Arab element of their force." Concerning the SDF in general, Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend in the same month said that "I'm seeing what is probably a pretty broad coalition of people and the Kurds may be providing the leadership, because they have a capable leader who's stepped up to this challenge. And they are providing some of the organisational skill, but I see a large contingent about 23 to 25, 000 so far and growing, Arabs, who are marching to liberate their part of northern Syria. So, I don't see a Kurdish state. I see a multi-cultural, multi-party, multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian Syrian region being liberated from ISIS. Over."
Late June, an analysis by the Counter Terrorism Center at West Point noted "growing acceptance of the SDF by Sunni Arab rebel groups" and more generally "growing legitimacy of the SDF". Another analysis as of late June described the YPG as "only one faction of many within the SDF", however that "it's the YPG that makes the SDF reliable and effective. The SDF's other components function as auxiliaries to the SDF's 'backbone', the YPG, which ensures effective, unitary command and control."
- On 13 February, the first YPG/YPJ regiment in Kobanî Canton was declared. The second regiment, named Şehîd Şevger Kobanî Regiment was established on 18 February. A total of 4 regiments were declared.
- On 25 February 2017, the YPG agreed to hand over security in the Assyrian towns along the Khabur River to the Khabour Guards and Nattoreh which joined the SDF.
- On 27 February 2017, the first YPG/YPJ regiment in Afrin Canton, named Martyr Xebat Dêrik Regiment was declared.
- On 8 April 2017, the Jazeera Knights Brigade was established.
- On 10 April 2017, two new YPG/YPJ regiments, named Martyr Gabar Regiment and Dêrik and Martyr Zana Regiment were established in Jazira Canton.
- On 4 May 2017, the International Anti-Fascist Battalion was renamed to the YPG International Battalion and became a part of the YPG.
- On 17 May 2017, the Raqqa Internal Security Forces were established.
- On 8 June, between 60 and 70 Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army fighters, including several Sultan Murad Division commanders, defected to the Syrian Army and the SDF during infighting between TFSA factions.
- On 10 July, an all-female Arab SDF group was established in Deir ez-Zor, the Martyr Amara Arab Women's Battalion, named after a female Arab SDF fighter that died in combat. Their area of focus will be the Deir ez-Zor Governorate. The group currently consists of 35 fighters from the cities of Hama, al-Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and Hasakah, along with the town of al-Shaddadah.
- On 15 August, the Revolutionary Forces was formed as part of the SDF in northern Aleppo, with the intent to fight the Turkish occupation of northern Syria.
- On 25 August, 800 fighters left the Elite Forces and was fully integrated into the ranks of the SDF and its Deir ez-Zor Military Council. The fighters accused the Elite Forces of corruption. These forces consist of 7 units of al-Baggara and al-Shaitat tribal fighters stationed in the eastern Raqqa and southern Hasaka countrysides.
- On 4 September, a faction of the Northern Brigade, which is a TFSA unit, defected to the SDF.
- Around 10 September, dozens of militiamen of the pro-government Forces of the Fighters of the Tribes joined the SDF. These militiamen had previously been overrun by ISIL during the Central Syria campaign and retreated into SDF-held areas in order to avoid being captured by the Islamist militants. Feeling abandoned by their old commander, they eventually decided to stay with the SDF.
- On 15 November 2017, Talal Silo, defected or surrendered to the Turkish Army, the nature of his leaving the SDF being up for dispute.
- On 27 November 2017, the Martyr Adnan Abu Amjad Regiment, consisting of 250 fighters was established, and joined the Manbij Military Council,
- On 20 December 2017, Hussam Awak announced his resignation from the SDF on his Facebook page without providing any reasons.
This section needs to be updated.July 2018)(
- On 13 January 2018, it was announced that the US-led Coalition would train a group called the Syrian Border Security Force (BSF), and would aim to reach 30,000 fighters, half of those being composed by current SDF members.
- On 20 January 2018, Kino Gabriel, the spokesman for the Syriac Military Council, was also made the spokesman for the SDF.
- In early June 2018, the Brigade For The Liberation of Idlib and Afrin, and the Idlib Revolutionaries Brigade where established.
- In July 2018, the first Sapper unit was established.
- On 1 August 2018, the first Special Forces Regiment was formed.
- On 24 September 2018, the Assyrian Democratic Party announced the creation of a united military leadership for Nattoreh and the Khabour Guards. The united force will known as the "Ashur Forces".
Support by the United States, France and other Western nationsEdit
This section needs to be updated.July 2018)(
- On 12 October 2015, the Pentagon confirmed U.S. C-17 transport aircraft having dropped 100 pallets with 45 tons of arms and ammunition over SDF-controlled territory in the DFNS. Polat Can, spokesman of the SDF component militia People's Protection Units (YPG), identified the freight as being "assault rifles, mortars and ammunition, but no TOW anti-tank missiles nor anti-aircraft weapons". The airdrop came only days after the Pentagon had officially abandoned its failed $500 million train-and-equip program that armed mainstream opposition groups who were also opposed to ISIL.
- During the SDF's February 2016 al-Shaddadi offensive, there were US special forces embedded with the SDF forces who coordinated airstrikes against ISIL with the SDF.
- On 17 March 2016, the day after the declaration of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava), U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter praised the SDF component militia People's Protection Units (YPG) as having "proven to be excellent partners of ours on the ground in fighting ISIL. We are grateful for that, and we intend to continue to do that, recognizing the complexities of their regional role."
- During the SDF's May 2016 offensive against ISIL in Northern Raqqa, the presence of U.S. Special Forces was widely reported, and several photographs of them wearing badges of the YPG and YPJ on their uniforms circulated.
- On 21 May 2016, General Joseph Votel, commanding general of U.S. Central Command, completed a secret several-hour-long trip to northern Syria to visit several locations where there were U.S. special operations forces and meet with local forces the U.S. was helping train to fight ISIL. The visit came as the first of 250 additional U.S. special operations forces were beginning to arrive in Syria to work with local forces. The commander overseeing the war in Syria, at the end of a long Saturday spent touring SDF bases, said "We do, absolutely, have to go with what we've got".
- During the SDF's summer 2016 Manbij offensive against ISIL, the U.S. Air Force as well as special operation forces of several Western nations supported the SDF advance. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that besides US special forces, German and French forces were participating. Germany officially denied the report, but France confirmed it.
- After two Syrian Air Force SU-24´s started air strikes in Al-Hasakah, on 19 August 2016, near where coalition forces were conducting operations on the ground, coalition aircraft arrived and the United States Department of Defense said that "It troubles us when we see regime air strikes in Hasakah in an area where it is well known by everybody, to include the Assad regime, that the coalition is actively engaged in operations against Isis", implicitly recognizing that elite troops are training and supporting the YPG and the Syrian Democratic Forces in the area.
- During the late summer 2016 Turkish military intervention in the Syrian Civil War in the Shahba region, U.S. Special Operations Forces embedded with SDF forces in order to successfully deter Turkey and Turkish-backed jihadi rebels from attacking SDF forces south of the Sajur river. Further, the United States Department of Defense confirmed that U.S. Special Operation Forces were flying U.S. flags in the town of Tell Abyad in Kobanî Canton to deter Turkish harassment shelling or attacks against SDF forces there.
- During the SDF's late summer 2016 Western al-Bab offensive against ISIL, the U.S. Air Force provided close combat support for SDF forces.
- Late September 2016, the U.S. spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) confirmed that the SDF, including the YPG, is also part of the "vetted forces" in the train and equip program and will be supplied with weapons. The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, condemned this and claimed that the SDF are "endangering our future".
- Early October 2016, media reports highlighted construction work on another military airfield in SDF controlled territory for operations of U.S. air assets, in the vicinity of al-Shaddadah in Jazira Canton, in addition to the two airfields the U.S. is widely reported to already co-operate there: Abu Hajar Airport in Rmelan in Jazira Canton and one airfield at the village of Septe south of Kobanî in Kobanî Canton.
- Late October 2016, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the commander of the international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, said that the SDF would lead the impending assault on Raqqa, ISIL's stronghold and capital, and that SDF commanders would plan the operation with advice from American and coalition troops. From November, more than 300 U.S. Special Operations Forces were embedded to train and advise SDF fighters in the Raqqa offensive.
- In January 2017, the European Syriac Union in Brussels requested the US to provide more support for the Assyrian and Kurdish components of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The US reportedly favoured the Arab components in the SDF, in April the MFS and the HSNB reaffirming the request for more support from the US.
- In late January 2017, the SDF received a number of armoured personnel carriers produced by ArmorGroup and supplied by the US.
- In February 2017, Stephen Townsend visited Kobanî. On 25 February, the US Central Command stated that it would continue to train and equip forces of the Manbij Military Council. During the East Aleppo offensive (February–March 2017), the US deployed troops and armored vehicles to villages near Manbij in an attempt to "deter" the skirmishes between the SDF and Turkey-backed forces west and north of Manbij.
- In late March 2017, the US delivered 30 more Guardian armoured vehicles to the SDF for use in the Raqqa offensive.
- In late April 2017, the U.S. just as in the summer 2016 once again deployed U.S. troops embedded with the SDF to the border between the DFNS/Syria and Turkey, in order to deter Turkish aggressions against the SDF, which this time coincided with the SDF's breakthrough advances against ISIL in the Raqqa campaign.
- On 9 May 2017, it was announced by the Pentagon that American President Donald Trump approved of a plan that would have the United States directly provide heavy armaments to the major SDF component group, the YPG; the plan comes before a planned final offensive to capture Raqqa from ISIL.
- By July 2017, more than 8,500 members of the SDF have been trained by the US-led coalition and in the first half of 2017, more than 400 vehicles and other equipment have been delivered to over 40,000 SDF troops.
- According to a report from the Kurdish news network Kurdistan 24, the major SDF component group, YPG forces, have received about 800 truckloads of military supplies from the Pentagon from early June to the end of July 2017.
- In a joint report published on 12 September 2017, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) alleged that the Pentagon had so far delivered up to $2.2 billion worth of weapons to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces
- In late November 2017, Turkish officials stated that Trump told Erdogan during their November 24 phone conversation that the U.S. would end arms supplies to the SDF. Erdogan said: "For the first time in a long while, a common wavelength was reached."  But Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) denied on November 28 that there is a halt in the Washington armament, saying they were provided with weapons by the U.S. the day before. Kurdish officials also said on November 27 that the United States would only "adjust" its delivery of weapons to the SDF. American officials also stated that they will continue to work with its Kurdish and Arab partners of SDF but will only review and adjust its delivery of weapons which is being done regularly. The International Coalition also confirmed its support for SDF is ongoing.
- On 12 February 2018, the United States Department of Defense released a budget blueprint for 2019 which with respect to the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) included $300 million for the (SDF) and $250 million for border security.
- On 29 March 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to send troops to Syria's Manbij in a bid to assist local SDF militias in preventing Turkish forces from advancing on the town. French troops moved into SDF-controlled towns of Manbij and Rmelan in the first days of April.
Alleged internal conflict between SDF factionsEdit
This section needs to be updated.July 2018)(
- In November 2015, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa merged with the Tribal Army to form Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa to become part of the SDF. After some tensions between the group and the People's Protection Units (YPG), on 6 January 2016 the group allegedly issued a statement claiming it was disbanding. Later the same month, some sources claimed that the Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa reappeared, announcing it had decided to rejoin the SDF.
- Turkey has at various times tried and failed to incite tensions along ethnic lines within the SDF. At the height of one such attempts after the start of the summer 2016 Manbij offensive, Sheikh Farouk al-Mashi, an ethnic Arab former member of the Syrian parliament and designated co-chairman of the Manbij City Council, stated: "I have a Syrian ID, and Kurds have a Syrian ID. Let those people who talk against us in Turkey and Europe come here and fight ISIS. Why this distortion in media about problems between Kurds and Arabs?" Ethnic Kurdish fellow co-chairman Salih Haji Mohammed stated: "In our social contract, we say we want to have good relations with neighboring countries like Turkey. Any country that does not interfere in Manbij and our areas, we will have good relations with." A fighter gave his perspective as "we have Arabs, Kurds, nobody knows how many exactly, we all work under the SDF-forces".
- In September 2016 during the Turkish military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, the leader of small SDF component group Liwa al-Tahrir, Abdul Karim Obeid, defected to the camp of Turkish-backed rebels with 20 to 100 of his men, citing opposition to alleged YPG domination of the SDF, while SDF sources suggested he was displeased with the civil administration of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria replacing warlordist political rule in the Free Syrian Army style. The remaining fighters stayed with the SDF.
- Also In September 2016 during the Turkish military intervention, some Arab sources reported that Liwa Ahrar al-Raqqa clashed with the YPG, however two days later the Liwa Ahrar al-Raqqa's commander said that news about the clashes and defections were false, he denied that such clashes had ever happened.
- In mid-November 2016, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa's political bureau, which has strong connections with Turkey, condemned the SDF's Raqqa offensive led by the YPG. This caused tensions between the group's political bureau, who opposes the YPG, and the overall leader and military commander of Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa, Abu Issa, who is allied with the YPG. Some members of Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa left the group and joined the SDF's Liwa Ahrar al-Raqqa in response to the tensions.
- On 10 December 2016, the second phase of the Northern al-Raqqa campaign was announced, with Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa participating under the SDF. 2 weeks later, the Raqqa Hawks Brigade reportedly captured several Thuwar al-Raqqa military commanders and forced them to announce their defection. On 27 December, the commanders declared on video that they are still with Thuwar al-Raqqa. On 20 February 2017, one sub-commander of the Raqqa Hawks Brigade, Abu Yamen al-Meko, who reportedly had strong links to the Military Intelligence Directorate, declared his loyalty to Bashar al-Assad and formed the pro-government unit "Tajamou al-Shamal". His followers consequently raised the Ba'athist flag at their headquarters in the village of al-Fares. These actions, however, provoked the ire of Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa, which launched a surprise attack on al-Fares two days later and destroyed al-Meko's faction, killing or capturing its members. Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa went on to declare that it "would never allow the regime and its supporting militia to re-enter the city [of Raqqa] by any means".
- On 10 April 2017, a purported spokesman for the Elite Forces claimed that the group is not part of the SDF, will cooperate with both the SDF and Rojava Peshmerga to capture Deir ez-Zor, and rejected federalism. On 15 April, this statement was denied by Muhammad Khalid Shakir, the official spokesman of the Elite Forces. He denied any disagreements between the Elite Forces and the SDF and said that "We are in the framework of the international coalition. The leadership of the coalition manages the operations on the ground. Our troops did not withdraw. We have completed the third phase of the Wrath of Euphrates Operation, and we will participate in all stages until Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor are freed."
- On 28 September 2017, Yasser al-Dahla, commander of the Gathering of al-Baggara Youth, part of the SDF's Deir ez-Zor Military Council, was arrested by SDF military police, which accused Dahla of not effectively participating in the SDF's Deir ez-Zor offensive and the "lack of military discipline". The Gathering of al-Baggara Youth denied these charges, and accused the Deir ez-Zor Military Council of denying Euphrates Shield fighters who defected to the SDF to join the Gathering. Dahla reportedly threatened to cease his group's participation in the Deir ez-Zor offensive.
- On 15 November 2017, Talal Silo, surrendered or defected to the Turkish Army. The nature of his leaving the SDF being up for dispute.
- On 20 December 2017, Hussam Awak announced his resignation from the SDF on his Facebook page without providing any reasons.
- In May 2018, tensions began to build up between members of Arab tribes, including Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, and the rest of the SDF and the Raqqa Internal Security Forces over recruitment issues in Raqqa. A curfew was put in place in both Raqqa city and the rest of the governorate on 23 June, as the SDF and RISF besieged Thuwar al-Raqqa's headquarters and arrested between 90 and 200 of its members the next day. By 25 June, the SDF and RISF captured all of Thuwar al-Raqqa fighters and their weapons in Raqqa, completely defeating the group, and the curfew was ended. Following Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa's defeat by the SDF and RISF, Abu Issa met with tribal leaders and SDF officials to discuss surrender and reconciliation. He was reportedly offered a position in the SDF general command. Abu Issa would later go on to deny he was ever arrested by the SDF or the RISF.
Alleged war crimesEdit
On 15 March 2017, a video surfaced that showed members of the Northern Sun Battalion allegedly torturing an ISIL fighter, who had been captured while planting mines. One of these mines had reportedly killed nine fighters of the battalion, leading five others to take revenge on the ISIL militant. The Manbij Military Council condemned the act, and announced that the involved Northern Sun Battalion fighters would be held for trial for violating the Geneva Conventions. The five accused were arrested on 17 March.
Ethnic cleansing and forced displacementEdit
The U.S. State Department reacted by stating they would 'scrutinise' Amnesty International's accusations. The U.S. State Department stated it had to determine if there was "any veracity to the claims", but showed concern by calling for any administrator in the area to rule "with respect for all groups regardless of ethnicity". The report makes accusations of looting, coercing civilians to join their armed forces and the forced targeted displacement of 1400 families in the Turkman villages of Hammam al-Turkman, 800 Turkmen from Mela Berho and Suluk residents. The report does not attempt to substantiate any of these claims with evidence other than supposed testimony from unnamed sources claiming to be alleged victims.
In a report published by the United Nations' Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic on 10 March 2017, the Commission refuted Amnesty International's claims of ethnic cleansing, stating that "'though allegations of 'ethnic cleansing' continued to be received during the period under review, the Commission found no evidence to substantiate claims that YPG or SDF forces ever targeted Arab communities on the basis of ethnicity."
In interviews, YPG spokespersons acknowledged that a number of families were in fact displaced. However, they placed the number at no more than 25, and claimed military necessity. They stated that the family members of terrorists maintained communications with them, and therefore had to be removed from areas where they might pose a danger. They further alleged that ISIL was using civilians in those areas to plant car bombs or carry out other attacks on the YPG.
Recruitment of minorsEdit
In June 2014, Human Rights Watch criticized the YPG for accepting minors into their ranks, picking up on multiple earlier reports of teenage fighters serving in the YPG, with a report by the United Nations Secretary General stating that 24 minors under age of 18 had been recruited by YPG, with 124 having been recruited by the Free Syrian Army and 5 by the Syrian Arab Army. In response, the YPG and YPJ signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment protecting children in armed conflict, prohibiting sexual violence and against gender discrimination in July 2014, and Kurdish security forces (YPG and Asayish) began receiving human rights training from Geneva Call and other international organisations with the YPG pledging publicly to demobilize all fighters under 18 within a month and began to enact disciplinary measures against commanders of the units that had involved in corruption and accepting recruit under age of 18 to their ranks. In October 2015 the YPG demobilized 21 minors from the military service in its ranks.
- Syrian Civil War
- List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War
- Syrian Democratic Council
- Movement for a Democratic Society
- Democratic Union Party (Syria)
- Federalization of Syria
- Rojava conflict
- Democratic Federation of Northern Syria
- Foreign relations of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria
- DFNS–Syrian government relations
- YPG–FSA relations
- Harp (2017), p. 49.
- "Tabûra Enternasyonal (@AntifaTabur) – Twitter". twitter.com.
Tonacci, Fabio (29 December 2016). "La brigata degli italiani con i curdi verso Raqqa: "Ma a casa non sanno che qui combattiamo"". la Repubblica (in Italian). Rome. p. 8.
- "Part of 1st military regiment of Special Forces in al-Tabqa - ANHA | Ajansa Nûçeyan a Hawar". www.hawarnews.com (in sy).CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
- "Syrian Democratic Forces Update". DVIDS.
- "Assyrian Female Fighters Joined Battlefronts Against ISIS in Northeastern Syria". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- SyriacMilitaryMFS . "Syriac Military Council, MFS also is sending special forces as reinforcements with the SDF amid ongoing hard battle against ISIS in the various fronts in the Deir ez Zor region for the total liberation of the area and safety of the population with". Twitter.
- "اللجنه الشعبيه للحرس الأشوري - Nattoreh". www.facebook.com.
- "Assyrians seek self-management in Hasaka over deal with PYD". Zaman al-Wasl. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld – Kurdish Strategy Towards Ethnically-Mixed Areas in the Syrian Conflict". Refworld.
- "Kurdish-led SDF attracts more Arab fighters in Syria's Deir ez-Zor amid growing anti-ISIS campaign". ARA News. 24 June 2016.
- "400 Sheitat tribesmen joined U.S.-backed alliance to fight ISIS: sources". Syria News. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "South Hasakah/North Deir Ezzor situation on April 28, 2016". agathocledesyracuse.com. 28 April 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016.
Szakola, Albin. "New rebel force battling ISIS in northeast Syria". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- "قوات النخبة السورية تدخل مدينة الكرامة معقل داعش".
- Sultan, Kanan. "بعد تبنيه خارطة "روج آفا".. حسام العواك يعلن استقالته من "قسد" - شبكة بلدي الإعلامية". www.baladi-news.com (in Arabic).
- "Hundreds of Syrian rebels join the pro-Kurdish SDF alliance". ARA News. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê". ANF. 13 October 2016. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "The Battle for Syria's Al-Hasakah Province". Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02.
- Heras, Nicholas. "The battle for Syria's al-Hasakah province". Combating Terrorism Center. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- ""قسد" تعقد اجتماعًا في مدينة الحسكة لكافة فصائلها - عنب بلدي". 8 December 2016.
- "SDF about forming first Arab all-female brigade – ANHA". en.hawarnews.com.
- "SDF creates female Arab battalion in eastern Syria to fight patriarchy and ISIS – ARA News". 11 July 2017.
- "Syrian Rebellion Obs on Twitter".
- "US backing ensures Arab-Kurd alliance in Syria will survive". Al-Monitor. 9 September 2016. Archived from the original on 9 September 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
- "Liberation Brigade defected in Jarabulus". Baladi News.
- "SDF announces the launch of 'Great Battle' for Raqqa". ANF News.
- "Fursan al-Jazîra Brigades join SDF ranks – ANHA". en.hawarnews.com. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017.
- "تشكيل أول كتيبة عسكرية لنساء مناطق الشهباء" (in Arabic). Hawar News Agency. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- "Kurds Front: we will resist to the last gasp". Hawar News Agency. 24 October 2016. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016.
- "إعلان قوات سوريا الديمقراطية في حلب وإدلب".
- "KurdisCat: 3 membres de Jabhat al Akrad i Quwat al-Ashair moren en combat contra l'IS al front d'al Bab". 4 December 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Democratic Brigade North: Turkey impede our progress in coordination with Daesh". Hawar News Agency. 8 September 2016. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017.
- "Shahba forces". RUMAF. 1 December 2016.
- News, ANF. "First YCR battalion formed in Efrîn". ANF News.
- "Objectives of New SDF-Led militias in the city of Afrin". Al-Dorar al-Shamia. 15 August 2017.
- "A leader in the "Idlib revolutionaries" to Kurd Street network: the problems of tenderness behind Turkey .. The arrival of the Arab delegation to Kobani is to support border guards". Kurd Street. 2 June 2018.
- "Inspired by Kurdish units, al-Bab Military Council creates all-female battalion – ARA News". 1 November 2016. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
- "Pro-SDF Groups Set Up Jarablus Military Council, Warn Turkish-Backed Groups from Taking City". 22 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
"ANF – Ajansa Nûçeyan ar Firatê". Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Antonopoulos, Paul (20 October 2016). "Video: Thuwar Raqqa announce a women's battalion to fight ISIS". Al-Masdar News.
- "Who is taking part in Ghadab al-Firat campaign?". Hawar News Agency. Archived from the original on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
"Fighters from all al-Raqqa clans participate in the liberation camiagn – ANHA". Archived from the original on 2 April 2017.
- "#Syria-Raqqa suspicious factions with the PYD". 7 September 2016.
- @Syria_Rebel_Obs (6 November 2016). "EXCLUSIVE SRO – Former leader of the main #Tabqa #FSA factions, Liwa Owais al-Qarni, entered Northern Federation days ago" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "The Ajeel tribe in Raqqa announces its support for the SDF, sends hundreds of fighters to join SDF ranks, and denies allegations that it is opposed to the SDF". Hawar News Agency. 31 March 2017. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017.
- "What platoons are participating in freeing Raqqa campaign? - ANHA". en.hawarnews.com. Archived from the original on 13 August 2016.
- "Jihan Sheikh Ahmed, the official spokesperson of the Raqqa campaign, talks during a conference, east of Raqqa city, Syria". Thomson Reuters Foundation. 26 March 2017.
- "YPG declared the Qamishli as the capital of the Rojava-Northern Syria, part of Federation". 2 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
- Lister, Tim (1 November 2015). "New assaults on ISIS in Iraq and in Syria". CNN.
- "Syrian Democratic Forces inch closer to Deir Ezzor: Al-Mukmin captured". Almasdar News.
- Rashid (2018), p. 7.
- "Top U.S. commander completes day-long secret visit to Syria (CNN)". 22 May 2016.
- "The new coalition to destroy the Islamic State". The Washington Post). 22 May 2016.
- "Syrian fighter jets hit Kurd-held areas for first time (Aljazeera)". 19 August 2016.
- "Syria war: US fighter jets scrambled to stop Syrian planes bombing special forces and allies in Hasakah". Independent. 20 August 2016.
- "France Admits Special Forces Operating on Ground With Rebels in Syria". Newsweek. 9 June 2016.
- "Battle for Manbij: French Special Forces Building Military Base in Kobani". Sputnik News. 14 June 2016.
- "Elite Forces led by former Syrian opposition chief join fight against ISIS". ARA News. December 11, 2016.
- "The UAE has it in for the Muslim Brotherhood". Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. 22 February 2017.
Along with their American counterparts, Emirati special forces are said to be training elements of the opposition. They constitute a kind of Arab guarantee among the Syrian Democratic Forces – an umbrella group dominated by the Kurds of the PYD, on whom the US are relying to fight IS on the ground.
- "UAE, Kurds Standing against US, Turkey in Syria". Farsnews. 22 February 2017.
- "The U.S. bombing of Syria implicates many of Trump's business interests". Vox. 16 April 2018.
- "U.S. Seeks Arab Force and Funding for Syria". Wall Street Journal. 16 April 2018.
Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. helped pay the stipends for the Syrian fighters the U.S. is supporting
- "Saudi Arabia in talks with YPG to form new force". Daily Sabah. 30 May 2018.
- "Trump's New Army? Saudi Arabia in Talks to Build Syria Arab Force, Report Says". Newsweek. 30 May 2018.
- "Saudi Arabia pledges $100 million for SDF-controlled areas liberated from Daesh in Syria". Daily Sabah. 17 August 2018.
- "News of arrests of YPG-linked Czechs shocks Turkey". Al-Monitor. 17 November 2016. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016.
- "Soldati italiani in Siria? Arriva la smentita, ma..." (in Italian). Retrieved 11 June 2018.
- "Syrian Opposition Calls for Suspension of U.S.-led Air Strikes". SOHR. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- "Origins of the Syrian Democratic Forces: A Primer". 15 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Syrian Kurdish leader claims military gains against Islamists". Archived from the original on 14 November 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- País, Ediciones El (7 July 2015). "Two Spaniards arrested on return from fighting ISIS in Syria". EL PAÍS. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "New Leftist 'Freedom Brigade' to Join Kurdish Forces in Rojava". www.telesurtv.net. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Are the PKK and Cairo new allies?". Rudaw. 27 June 2016.
Cairo allegedly gave the PKK delegation funds and weapons after the second meeting, the report adds.
- "Activists and a rebel commander say Kurdish fighters have launched an attack in northern Syria under the cover of Russian airstrikes to try and capture a military air base held by insurgents". U.S. News & World Report. 10 February 2016.
- "Russia cooperates with PYD against ISIL". Today's Zaman. 9 October 2015. Archived from the original on 29 October 2015.
- "Russian support for PKK's Syrian arm PYD". Anadolu Agency.
- "Kurds attack Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces with Russian help". i24 News. 28 November 2015.
- "YPG advances near Turkey's border". Rudaw Media Network. 28 November 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
- Wood, L. Todd (8 February 2016). "Russia supporting Kurdish groups in Syria to Turkey's detriment". Washington Times.
- Glioti, Andrea (7 May 2013). "Kurdish group gaining autonomy in northern Syria". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 21 November 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Second HAT course members graduate – ANHA". Archived from the original on 6 March 2017.
- "Anti-IS coalition trains policemen for Syria's Raqqa".
"Raqqa Internal Security Force (RISF) – Militia Trained by U.S. - SOF News". 29 June 2017.
- "Die Welt: Die Christen in Syrien ziehen in die Schlacht". Die Welt (in German). 23 October 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- Rudaw (6 April 2015). "Rojava defense force draws thousands of recruits". Rudaw. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- "Dr Partizan on Twitter".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Rojava Dispatch Six: Innovations, the Formation of the Hêza Parastina Cewherî (HPC) – Modern Slavery".
- Lambert, Fred (1 November 2015). "Syria: Joint Kurd-Arab-Assyrian force announces U.S.-backed offensive in al-Hasakah". UPI. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "Jader assassination by Turkish MIT". Hawar News Agency. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Syrian Army, Kurdish forces clash fight for control of abandoned ISIS villages". Al Masdar News. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
- "Syrian army says forces have captured several villages from US-backed rebels". Independent. 29 April 2018.
- Abu Zeid, Osama; Nelson, Maria (3 December 2015). "Accusations, recriminations and bloodshed in north Aleppo arena as Kurds fear for Afrin". Syria Direct. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "YPG, allies clash with Syrian opposition groups in Aleppo". Middle East Eye. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "New U.S.-backed Syrian rebel alliance launches offensive against Islamic State". Reuters. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Chechens, Arabs and Kurds in Serêkaniyê fighting shoulder to shoulder against ISIS". Diclehaber.com. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
mahmou415 (24 August 2015). "Faction Guide of the Syrian war – Part 4 – Rojava Kurds – Middle East Observer". Meobserver.wordpress.com. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Syrian Kurdish groups expect U.S. support, will fight any Turkish advance". 15 February 2017 – via Reuters.
"America's Favorite Syrian Militia Rules With an Iron Fist" – via The Nation.
- "Syria Kurds adopt constitution for autonomous federal region". TheNewArab. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "Syrian Democratic Forces set sights on IS stronghold". 15 December 2015.
- Editorial, Reuters. "U.S.-backed Syrian forces seize dam west of Raqqa from Islamic..." U.S.
- Wilgenburg, Wladimir van. "Kurds celebrate capture of key IS stronghold in Syria". Middle East Eye.
- AFP. "US-backed forces seize Syria's Tabqa, dam from ISIS". english.alarabiya.net.
- Pestano, Andrew V. "Syrian milita nears full capture of Tabqa city, dam". UPI.
- "Kurds, allies seize ISIS supply route on Syria-Iraq border - ARA News". ARA News. 10 March 2016.
- Francis, Ellen. "U.S.-backed Syria militias say Tabqa, dam captured from Islamic State". U.S.
- "Declaration of establishment by Syrian Democratic Forces". Kurdish Question. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "YPG, backed by al- Khabour Guards Forces, al- Sanadid army and the Syriac Military Council, expels IS out of more than 230 towns, villages and farmlands". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- Carl Drott (25 May 2015). "The Revolutionaries of Bethnahrin". Warscapes. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- website), Al-Souria Net (opposition. "Haytham Manna Elected Joint Chairman of Syrian Democratic Council". The Syrian Observer. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
- Chappell, Bill (12 October 2015). "New Rebel Coalition Forms In Syria; Insurgents Lost Ground Over Weekend". NPR. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- Suleiman al-Khalidi; Tom Perry (12 October 2015). "New Syrian rebel alliance formed, says weapons on the way". Reuters. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Global powers seek to revive diplomatic process". The Economist. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "أبناء العشائر العربية يشكلون لواءً وينضمون إلى QSD". Hawar News Agency. 7 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "من هم تجمع كتائب فرات جرابلس؟". Hawar News Agency. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "List of groups joining Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)". Ethnic Maps of Kurd. 8 July 2016.
- "Syrian-Kurdish SDF successfully absorbing non-Kurdish groups, says US". Rudaw. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "Talal Silo: our major aim founding SDF was uniting military factions". Hawar News Agency. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "Anyone for Raqqa? There is less to the offensive on Islamic State's capital than meets the eye". The Economist. 11 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- "Department of Defense Press Briefing by Col. Dorrian via teleconference from Baghdad, Iraq". US Department of Defense. 8 December 2016.
- "400 Sheitat tribesmen joined U.S.-backed alliance to fight ISIS: sources SYRIA NEWS | ZAMAN ALWSL". En.zamanalwsl.net. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Martyrs of Dam Brigade join Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) | Washington Kurdish Institute". Dckurd.org. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Dozens of young men join western-backed SDF to fight ISIS northeast Syria". ARA News. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Who are the banner of free tenderness?". Hawar News Agency. 19 March 2016.
- "YPG and FSA set up 'Joint Action Centre'". Firat News. 11 September 2014. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014.
- "Minbic military assembly established". Hawar News Agency. 3 April 2016.
- "The Brigades of the Irvad rebels declare their joining the Syrian Democratic Forces in Tel Rifat Brive Aleppo". ARA News. 20 June 2016.
- "Kurdish-led SDF attracts more Arab fighters in Syria's Deir ez-Zor amid growing anti-ISIS campaign – ARA News". 24 June 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "158 مقاتلاً جديداً يلتحقون بـ ق.س.د". Hawar News Agency. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Syrian Democratic Forces aim to capture al-Bab, call for coalition support". ARA News. 15 August 2016.
- "Kurdish-backed Jarabulus council warns Turkey of supporting ISIS north Syria – ARA News". 22 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê". ANF. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Pro-SDF Groups Set Up Jarablus Military Council, Warn Turkish-Backed Groups from Taking City". Southfront.org. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Jarablus Military Council announced by groups within the Syrian Democratic Forces". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Assassinator of Jader arrested". Hawar News Agency. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Sattar Jader, commanding general of the Jarabulus Military Council, assassinated". Qasioun. 22 August 2016.
- "Inspired by Kurdish units, al-Bab Military Council creates all-female battalion". ARA News. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Hassan Hassan (27 June 2017). "The Battle for Raqqa and the Challenges after Liberation". Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
- "Coalition works with SDF as they are a multi-ethnic force, spokesman says". NRT. 19 March 2017.
- "US Gen. Townsend rebuffs Turkish reporter with 'political agenda' against SDF". KomNews. 29 March 2017.
- Sam Heller (30 June 2017). "The Signal in Syria's Noise". warontherocks.com.
- "The second regiment contains all Kobanî components – ANHA".
- "YPG declares two regiments in Cizîre Canton". ANF News.
- "YPG". www.facebook.com.
- Uğur Ergan (15 June 2017). "Turkey confirms internal fight in Free Syrian Army". Hürriyet Daily News.
- Rodi Said (25 August 2017). "U.S.-backed forces to attack Syria's Deir al-Zor soon: SDF official". Reuters.
- "Former Euphrates Shield group joined SDF". YPG. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "Syrian Regime-Led militias defect and join the Kurdish units". Al-Dorar Al-Shamia. 10 September 2017. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "U.S.-backed Syria forces say Turkey pressured commander into defecting". Reuters. 16 November 2017.
- Statement to Public opinion http://sdf-press.com/en/2017/11/public-opinion-statement-2/
- Reports: SDF spox Silo defects to FSA, Turkey http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/151120171, Rudaw English
- Roy Gutman (12 October 2015). "U.S. begins airdrops of weapons to Kurdish forces in northern Syria". McClatchy. Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Syrian Arab militias dispute they received U.S. airdrop of ammunition". McClatchy DC. 20 October 2015. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "Syria conflict: US air drop for anti-IS forces in Hassakeh". BBC. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Interethnic coalition takes on the IS group in Syria". France 24 (Youtube). 22 April 2016.
- "Pentagon chief praises Kurdish fighters in Syria". Hurriyet Daily News. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "U.S. Troops 18 Miles from ISIS Capital". The Daily Beast. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
- "New details in the German, American and French forces support for The Syria Democratic Forces in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo (SOHR)". 15 June 2016.
- "German, French special forces in Syria 'an aggression' (PressTV)". 15 June 2016.
- "Mysterious American Flags In Northern Syria Were Planted By U.S. Troops, Pentagon Says". Huffington Post. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
- "YPG-led SDF capture 3 villages from ISIS in north Aleppo countryside". Al-Masdar News. 30 August 2016.
- "US sending arms to Kurdish-led SDF in Syria, Turkey's Erdogan outraged". ARA News. 25 September 2016. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016.
- "US Military Builds a New Air Base in Northern Syria". Aviation Voice. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- "US Military Builds a New Air Base in Northern Syria". Sputnik International. 4 October 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- "US Military Builds a New Air Base in Oil-Rich Region North of Syria". Farsnews. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- "U.S. builds two air bases in Kurdish-controlled north Syria: Kurdish report". Reuters. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- "US Confirms Involvement in Syria Airfield Expansion". Voice of America. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- "Inside Syria: The farm airstrip that's part of the U.S. fight against ISIS". CNN. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- "U.S. troops take over air base in Syria, local reports say". Military Times. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- "US general: Syrian Democratic Forces will lead the assault on Raqqa". Stars and Stripes. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
- "American Is Killed in First Casualty for U.S. Forces in Syria Combat". New York Times. 24 November 2016.
- "ESU: URGENT APPEAL AFTER MANY CHRISTIANS FELL IN THE STRUGGLE TO LIBERATE RAQQA". European Syriac Union. 22 January 2017.
- "MFS: WE ASK THE US FOR EQUAL SUPPORT AS IS GIVEN TO THE ARABS". Syriac Military Council. 3 April 2017.
- "Kurd-led Syrian militia says Trump sent it armoured vehicles". Middle East Eye. 31 January 2017.
- "US military displays SDF support, while Turkey calls for YPG to leave Manbij". Rudaw. 25 February 2017.
- Carla Babb (6 March 2017). "US Troops in Manbij to 'Deter' Skirmishes Between Turks, Kurds". VOA News.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (1 April 2017). "US provides 30 vehicles to SDF-linked Arab forces as fight for Raqqa escalates". ARA News.
- "Ever-closer ties between US and Kurds stoke Turkish border tensions". The Guardian. 1 May 2017.
- "Kurdish citizens 'rest easy' after American military patrols parade through cities in northern Syria". syriadirect.org. 2 May 2017.
- "Trump to Arm Syrian Kurds, Even as Turkey Strongly Objects". New York Times. 9 May 2017.
- "In blow to U.S.-Turkey ties, Trump administration approves plan to arm Syrian Kurds against Islamic State". Washington Post. 9 May 2017.
- "Trump OKs arms for Syrian Kurds, despite Turkish objections". ABC News. 9 May 2017. Archived from the original on 9 May 2017.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (9 July 2017). "8,500 SDF fighters trained by US-led coalition to combat ISIS, equipment delivered for 40,000 troops in Syria: official". ARA News.
- "U.S. delivered 809 trucks of weapons to YPG in two months – Map of Syrian Civil war/ Global conflict in Syria – Syria news – syria.liveuamap.com". Map of Syrian Civil war/ Global conflict in Syria – Syria news – syria.liveuamap.com. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
- "You are being redirected..." www.nrttv.com. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
- Sulaivany, Karzan. "US sends over 100 more truckloads of weapons to YPG: report". Kurdistan24.
- "The Pentagon Is Spending $2 Billion Running Soviet-Era Guns to Syrian Rebels". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
- Marzouk, Ivan Angelovski and Lawrence. "Revealed: The Pentagon Is Spending Up To $2.2 Billion on Soviet-Style Arms for Syrian Rebels – OCCRP". OCCRP. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
- News, ABC. "Erdogan says he reached same 'wavelength' with Trump in call". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
- Corporation, Nalia. "US armament of anti-ISIS Syrian Kurdish continue, says SDF official". nrttv.com. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
- "'Many more' US troops in Syria and Iraq". BBC News. 2017-11-28. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
- "US to keep supporting SDF, including Kurds, in Syria". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
- "Pentagon budget retains same troop levels in Iraq, Syria". Al-Monitor. 12 February 2018.
- "Syrie : Emmanuel Macron annonce l'envoi de soldats au secours des Kurdes". Le Parisien (in French). 29 March 2018.
- "First French Ground Troops Arrive in Northern Syria". Mintpress. 5 April 2018.
- "Tribes' Army disbands in north amidst accusations of YPG blockade". Syria Direct. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Ultimele stiri si informatii despre Liwa Thuwwar Al Raqqa". www.disperat.ro. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
- "On the Front Line in the Bloody Fight to Take Manbij From ISIS". The Daily Beast. 5 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "SDF-led Manbij Military Council cuts off ISIS supply route between Raqqa and Manbij". Ara News. 5 June 2016. Archived from the original on 6 June 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- "Free Raqqa Brigade denies split with the Syrian Democratic Forces". DW. 3 September 2016.
- @Syria_Rebel_Obs (10 November 2016). "IMPORTANT – Liwa Thuwar #Raqqa political bureau was many times in conflict with its military leader, Abu Issa, that's the problem" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @Syria_Rebel_Obs (10 November 2016). "Stop saying "Liwa Thuwar #Raqqa left #SDF" : brigade is few, and MORE IMPORTANT, besieged de facto by #SDF bases around its HQ" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @Syria_Rebel_Obs (11 November 2016). "LOCAL SOURCE – Fighters from Liwa Thuwar #Raqqa left #HQ during night and joined #SDF Liwa Ahrar #Raqqa (former Liwa al-Jihad)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @arabthomness (11 December 2016). "#Syria: the #SDF coalition (#YPG, local #FSA, allied arab tribes) have launched the second stage of the offensive to liberate #Raqqa" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- ""Intentionally" fights Arab allies .. and "revolutionaries tenderness" reveal planned". Baladi News. 27 December 2016.
- ""Thwar al-Raqqa" Brigade Attacks the pro-Assad regime "Tajamou' al-Shamal" north of #Raqqa". El-Dorar Al-Shamia. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "#Syria – Raqqa – Thuwar Raqqa faction assaults a pro–Assad faction". Yallasouriya. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "A spokesman for the Syrian Elite Forces: We are not part of "intentionally" and are open to the Peshmerga, "Rogge"". Rudaw. 10 April 2017.
- "A SPOKESMAN FOR THE ELITE FORCES: CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS UNTIL THE LIBERATION OF RAQQA AND DEIR AL-ZOUR". Syria's Tomorrow Movement. 15 April 2017.
- "Military police of SDF arrest leader of al-Bakkara Youth Gathering Yasser al-Dahla, the defected of Syrian Elite Forces". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 2 October 2017.
- "SDF forces impose curfew in Syria's Raqqa, citing instability, Islamic State attacks". Middle East Eye. 24 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- "Raqqa city on lockdown as US-backed forces clash with local Arab faction". Syria Direct. 25 June 2018.
- "Internal Security ended emergency state". Hawar News Agency. 25 June 2018.
- "Brigade of Raqqa Revolutionaries to where ... New and exclusive details". Reporters Without Borders in Raqqa. 27 June 2018.
- "Statement by Manbij Military Council (March 16, 2017)". YPG Rojava. 16 March 2017.
- "Manbij Military Council on torture allegations: We are committed to laws of war". Hawar News Agency. 16 March 2017.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (18 March 2017). "Five SDF members arrested for torturing ISIS militant". ARA News.
- "Turkey accuses Kurdish forces of 'ethnic cleansing' in Syria". Agence France-Presse. 16 Jun 2015.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said he was troubled by the advance of Kurdish forces, saying they could in the future create a structure to threaten Turkey.
- Saeed, Yerevan (14 October 2015). "US voices concern over allegations of rights violations by YPG". Rudaw. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
We’ll look closely at all these accusations to determine whether there's any veracity to the claims ... We call on those who actually are or will participate in administering these areas to do so inclusively and with respect for all groups regardless of ethnicity
- ""SYRIA: 'WE HAD NOWHERE TO GO' - FORCED DISPLACEMENT AND DEMOLITIONS IN NORTHERN SYRIA"". Amnesty International. 13 October 2015.
- "Syria and Islamist groups guilty of war crimes, YPG cleared: UN report". Kom News. 15 March 2017. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017.
- Antonopoulos, Paul (15 March 2017). "UN report counters Amnesty International's claim that Kurds are ethnically cleansing in Syria". Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "UN report refutes ethnic cleansing claims against Syrian Kurdish YPG, SDF". 14 March 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- Amnesty International (2015-10-13), "We had nowhere else to go": Forced displacement and demolitions in northern Syria, retrieved 2016-03-19
- Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Refworld | 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Syria". Refworld.
- U.N. Security Council (5 June 2015). Report of the Secretary-General: Children and armed conflict (Report). para. 191.
Actual numbers are expected to be higher.... A number of pro-Government groups, including Hizbullah, also reportedly recruited children in small numbers.
- "Syria: Kurdish Forces Violating Child Soldier Ban Despite Promises, Children Still Fight". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Perry, Tom; Malla, Naline (10 September 2015). "Western states train Kurdish force in Syria, force's leader says". Reuters.
Amnesty International this month faulted the Kurdish administration for arbitrary detentions and unfair trials.... [Ciwan] Ibrahim said ... efforts were underway to improve its human rights record.... The Geneva Call ... promotes good treatment of civilians in war zones...
- YPG demobilizes 21 children under the age of 18 from the military service in its ranks (Report). Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 28 October 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-11-21.
- "Syria: Armed Group Recruiting Children in Camps". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "SDF command issues order banning child recruitment". Kurdistan 24. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Rashid, Bedir Mulla (2018) [1st pub. 2017]. Military and Security Structures of the Autonomous Administration in Syria. Translated by Obaida Hitto. Istanbul: Omran for Strategic Studies. Archived from the original on 2018-07-01.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Syrian Democratic Forces.|