Rojava: Syria's Unknown War

Rojava: Syria's Unknown War

2014, Military and War  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 8.42/10 from 126 users.

North-east Syria is one of the most complex and under-reported fronts in the entire Syrian war. Kurdish fighters, affiliated with the PKK, have used the disintegration of Syria to carve out an autonomous state there, in the country's north-east - Syria's Kurdish heartland - and Turkey's really not happy about it.

In an effort to blockade the Kurdish areas, the region the Kurds call "Rojava" (sunset), the Turkish government closed the border crossings to international trade as well as to journalists. While Turkey offers free access to rebel-held areas of Syria it doesn't want any journalist entering Rojava leaving the film-crew with no option but to cross the border illegally, dodging Turkish army patrols and risking arrest.

They've come to meet Kovan Direj, a Kurdish activist now living as a refugee in north-east Syria. The regime had withdrawn from most of Rojava a year earlier and Kovan is keen to show how the local Kurdish forces were capable of filling the security vacuum.

While predominately Kurdish, Rojava is an ethnically mixed region of Syria. There is significant number of Arab Muslims and some Christian minorities. In Syrian Kurdistan however a fragile ethnic balance still exists. Christian parties and their militias are working with the dominant Kurdish PYD party to keep the Jihadists out. Syrian Kurdistan contains around 60% of Syria's oil reserves and it could be a potential treasure trove to whoever controls it.

In some areas Kurdish and Arab villages sit side by side. These quiet farming communities were now the front line in the war between the YPG (People's Protection Units) and their enemies. Like everywhere else in Rojava most of the fighters are local farmers. The YPG seem to use the local militias at the first line of defense in these isolated villages with the mobile reserve of elite troops ready to respond to any incursions.

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11 Comments / User Reviews

  1. erhan

    The cities have been mentioned as "living in prosperity" its not true. Please tell objective stories to people

  2. Rushfan2112

    Idk why but I can't stand listening to this guy narrate. To me it's like he's trying WAY too hard to be that super-solemn British stereotypical narrator...

  3. Eric Lawson

    Good Documentary. Only the Goat stays true to itself. The others young mainly are lost in confusion. Too many sides in this war. The arms i have been told are being supplied by the Iranian or possibly even the US . No one really knows. Now Iraq is under siege. By yet another terrorist group. Makes one feel grateful for our freedom over here in the west !Thank you for this informative Doc !!1

  4. Jedo

    It seems the guide and the other Kurds are doing their best to convince their visitors that they are more Western than their enemy. Vying for support?

    1. DespiteTheOdds

      Sure does sound like a sales pitch, doesn't it? Reminds me of cheap second hand car salesmen!

  5. Lauri Neva

    Who is supplying each side with munitions, transportation, food and other miscellaneous supplies to wage war? When I know that I will venture an opinion for that is where the blame is to be laid for this insane war and loss of life!

    1. dmxi

      you'll be in for a suprise!

  6. dmxi

    another domino stone to fall....the void being filled by those which the
    'civilized' west dread the most & whom somehow survive and grow ,no
    matter how much killing technology is being 'thrown' at could
    ponder why the latest history of israels surrounding neighbors are
    degenerating to 'freedom' at free-fall speed & are spiraling into
    the arms of fundamental adversaries, with no real lamentation of those
    which inflicted two wars as revenge without a plausible reason other
    than 9/11 which is beyond absurdity.saudi citizens financed with saudi
    oil cash (in petro-dollars) with no ties to iraq,can be no excuse to
    target afghanistan as a complete nation for the deeds of a few
    foreigners.the acceptance of collateral damage is a war crime which only
    the governing judge of the world can pull off without fearing
    punishment.......but every war of the last two centuries was never won
    by the aggressor so let's see if history repeats itself!

  7. Maddestmax

    What realy defines a nation is its language. In parts of syria, iraq, turkey and iran the language is kurdish. Virtually all the troubles can be attributed to the stupidity of the collonial powers dividing the ottoman empire recklessly at the end of world war 1. The same applies to troubles in africa.

    1. Hama USA

      Thank you the stupidity of Great Britain who divided us and linked us with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey. I'm a kurd and I don't wanna be linked or be part of these nations at all.

    2. deadmanriding

      It wasn't stupidity of the colonials; it was their cunning ways to separate true nations along arbitrary lines to divide, conquer, oppress & rule. It was intentional without a doubt, with tragic consequences for most even when independence was achieved. Unfortunately, Kurds have been left on the sidelines of nationhood but that will change if they all work together for their freedom.