Syria’s Kurds and the Syrian Civil War

Syria’s Kurds and the Syrian Civil War

This project explores the role of the Kurds in the war against Islamic State, as well as their participation in the broader Syrian conflict.

The main actors being studied are the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Following the decline of Islamic State in 2017 and 2018, this research stream is increasingly looking at how the Kurds in northern and eastern Syria are continuing to shape the Syrian civil war.

The project also explores the extent to which academic insurgency theory can account for the actions of the YPG and SDF, working to understand how this is different from the behaviour of other insurgent groups operating in Syria today.

As such, this project is also investigating how rival movements approach politics, respond to military asymmetry, are shaped by territory, and make use of transnational support.

Recent Policy Reports

  • Jun042018

    ICSR Event – Chronicling the Islamic State: A Photographic Perspective

    Speakers: Mr Peter van Agtmael, Magnum Photos photographer and collection curator Mr David Kogan OBE,…

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  • Jun012018

    Charlie Winter’s Address at the United Nations’ Open Meeting on Countering Terrorist Narratives

    Senior Research Fellow Charlie Winter delivered an address at the open meeting of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism…

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  • May312018

    ICSR Events – Martyn Frampton & Stephen Tankel Book Launches

    ICSR recently celebrated two important book launches, featuring new publications by our associate fellows. To…

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