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Who is the SDF that Turkey is fighting in northern Syria?

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Turkey has launched a major military operation in northeastern Syria aimed at removing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the border area and creating a “safe zone” so millions of Syrian refugees can be returned.

The SDF is an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias that was instrumental in driving out ISIL over the past four years, backed by air strikes of a US-led coalition.

But Turkey considers the Kurdish-led alliance a “terrorist” group because it says its main fighting force is The People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for more than three decades.


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