The People’s Defense Units (YPG) [also People’s Protection Units] is the official army of Rojava-Northern Syria Federation. After the Syrian Baath regime’s attacks in 2004, small units started to organize the YPG with the intention of protecting the people against attacks. Following its successful organization in all cities throughout Rojava, and after gaining significant fighting experience, the YPG was officially formed in 2011. Currently, the YPG is actively organized in the Efrin [Afrin], Kobanê [Kobani] and Cizîre [Jazeera] cantons and Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood.
The YPG was set up to protect the legacy and values of the people of Rojava and is founded on the principles of the paradigm of a democratic society, ecology and woman’s liberation. Without preferring or discriminating any religion, language, nation, gender or political parties, the YPG is protecting the country against all attacks from outside. The YPG is the Democratic Nation’s defense force and is not related to any political party. All missions and work is carried out within the framework of legitimate defense and defending the interests of the people of Rojava.
The YPG is a people’s army set up and formed of volunteers. People from all the different nations, religions and spiritual groups of Rojava can join the YPG. Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmens, Armenians, Kurds and many other groups living in Rojava-Northern Syria are working united in the YPG. The Al-Senadîd forces, Heres El Xabur and the Syriac Military Council also take their place in the YPG as the self defense forces of the people.
As the numbers of women joining the YPG increased, the female fighters of the YPG decided to set up the all-female Women's Protection Units (YPJ). The YPJ is an autonomous force and is carrying out its work and forming its own organizations based on their own program.
The YPG, in a short period time, has proved its military efficiency all over Rojava and liberated most of the cities in Rojava-Northern Syria from the tyrannical Baathist regime. The YPG also resisted valiantly and successfully against all the attacks and aggressions carried out by Daesh (ISIS) and the bandits of the Syrian National Coalition, playing a historical role in setting up and defending a safe area for everyone in Syria.
The YPG and YPJ have fought and resisted in many historical battles in the past five years and since 2015 have also worked in cooperation with the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD, otherwise known as SDF). Some of these battles were:
Liberation of the Yazidis in Sinjar (Shingal), Defending the Sinjar corridor also known as resistance of Ceza (Jaza) and Rabia (Summer and Autumn 2014)
Battle of Kobani, the liberation of Kobani Canton (15. September 2014 – 15. July 2015)
Liberation of Til Hamis and Til Berak (21. - 29. February 2015)
Liberation of the Kezwan Mountains and the towns of Tal Tamir, Mebruka, Suluk, Til Abyad and Ain Issa (6. May – 15. June 2015)
Liberation of Sarrin (September 2015)
Liberation of Al-Hol (November 2015)
Liberation of Tishreen Dam (December 2015)
Liberation of Al-Shadaddi (February 2016)
Liberation of the area in the southeast of the Kezwan Mountains (March 2016)
Liberation of Manbij (June – August 2016)
The YPG has been cooperating with the International Coalition Against Daesh since autumn 2014.
Within the Defense Ministry and according to the laws of the Democratic Self-Administration, the YPG continues its mission to defend the people throughout Rojava-Northern Syria.