Speaker: John Holland-McCowan, Research Fellow, International Security Program

Since the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and their affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighting forces gained world-wide renown with their determined resistance against the so-called Islamic State in Kobane in the fall of 2014, academics and policymakers have sought to understand this controversial and severely understudied organization. By mid-2017, a besieged PYD three years before had become the dominant political and military force in Northern Syria due to the partnership between their YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the U.S.-led coalition.

This seminar will present what underpinned the Syrian Kurds' success during this critical period by examining how they engaged in politics, responded to military asymmetry, were influenced by territory, and utilized transnational support before discussing its broader implications for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom!  Click here. Meeting ID number: 596848662

For more information, email the International Security Program Assistant at susan_lynch@harvard.edu.

Topic: International Security Program Seminar - April 2
Time: Apr 2, 2020 12:15 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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