After strategic coordination with American officials, the YPG re-branded itself as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in July 2017 to dissociate itself with the PKK, which is recognized as a terror group by Turkey, the US, and the EU.
A terror campaign by the PKK has waged against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.
One of America’s most senior generals said on Friday he instructed the Kurdish YPG militia to change its “brand” a day or so before it unveiled an alliance with Syrian Arabs in 2015 under the name Syrian Democratic Forces.
The SDF equals the YPG
Granted: before committing to accusations of any kind, journalists must do their fieldwork or desktop research. When it comes to clarifying whether the SDF is in fact the YPG and thus the PKK in disguise, the work is relatively easy.
The person who told the YPG to rebrand itself so as to appear independent of the PKK, confirmed in a 2017 speech in Aspen, Colorado, that he had instructed the YPG to reinvent itself a day or so before the group unveiled its alliance with the Syrian Arabs back in 2015. So who is the figure who went public? U.S. Army Gen. Raymond Thomas.
Ocalan, who was born in the Turkish province of Sanliurfa, was a co-founder of the PKK in 1978 and led a guerrilla war against the Turkish state that resulted in more than 40,000 deaths.
Although the YPG has claimed it is independent from the PKK, the group acknowledges Ocalan as its ideological figurehead and PKK commanders arethought to control key institutions in northern Syria.
Ocalan also made an important announcement in March that Kurds no longer needed a nation-state but a structure of democratic confederalism within the existing nation-states.