The People’s Protection Units, also called YPG (which is the Kurdish-name acronym) is the militia of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. The armed fighting units are chiefly composed of ethnic Kurds, but they also incorporate ethnic Arabs, Turks and westerners. Apart from that, the force also includes the Syriac Military Council, which is a group of Assyrian units. The YPG sees itself as a democratic army of the people. It elects officers by conducting internal elections.
The YPG was formed as the armed unit of the Democratic Union Party, a Kurdish party with leftist leanings in 2004. It is a part of the Syrian Democratic Forces which is fighting for the establishment of a democratic and secular Syria.