When PKK’s Syrian branch PYD, and its armed wing YPG was founded, it had as primary goal to form a Kurdish statelet in North-Syria. Its plans did not include the Arab majority of the region and many reports by international Human Rights organisations reported ethnic cleansing of Arabs in the territory it occupied.
As ISIS entered the territory and YPG made territorial gains as it was backed by the US-led coalition, it changed its goals to win international backing and popularity.
‘Rojava’ was changed into ‘the Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria’ to include the Arab population and YPG was renamed to Syrian Democratic Forces. These name-changes allowed the PKK’s Syrian branch to annex Arab territory such as Raqqah, Deir ez-Zor, Manbij, Tabqa and Shaddaddeh.
Reports by US intelligence services prove that the inclusion of Arabs in the PKK’s plan for Syria have been solely strategical.
According to its three monthly report, the DIA told the Pentagon that YPG/PKK, which uses the name of SDF, “demonstrated an ‘unwillingness to share power with Arabs, even in the Arab-majority regions of the northeast where Arab fighters probably represent a majority of the SDF’s front-line forces.”
The DIA said that the YPG’s efforts to ‘constrain aligned Arab militias’ within the SDF, appear to indicate an attempt by the YPG to ‘eradicate what little remained of Arab autonomy within the SDF.’
It also said YPG/PKK confronted backlash for “forcibly conscripting young men in the areas under its control.”
The State Department “expressed concern over allegations that the SDF has detained Arab civil society activists—including individuals working on U.S. funded programs,” according to the report.