Why Syria’s Kurds Are America’s Key Ally

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Before the civil war, few outside the Middle East had ever heard of Syria’s Kurds. Syria has by far the smallest Kurdish population of the four countries with Kurdish minorities.

However, the Syrian Kurds have risen to international prominence as their most powerful political group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has built its People’s Protection Units (YPG) into one of the most formidable fighting forces in the Syrian civil war. This force has gradually become the backbone of U.S.-led anti-ISIS operations in the country, and the PYD has become the largest landowner in Syria, next to the regime of President Bashar al Assad.

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