Rojava (also known as Western Kurdistan or Syrian Kurdistan, Kurdish: Rojavayê Kurdistanê, from rojava meaning "western"; Kurdistān as-Sūrīyah) is a de facto autonomous region in northern and north-eastern Syria. It is not officially recognized as autonomous by the government of the Syrian Arab Republic. The governance of the region is based on the philosophy of democratic confederalism which emphasises self-suffiency, localism and political pluralism. The PKK describes democratic confederalism in their manifesto:
The democratic confederalism of Kurdistan is not a State system, it is the democratic system of a people without a State... It takes its power from the people and adopts to reach self sufficiency in every field including economy.
Kurds consider Syrian Kurdistan to be part of a greater Kurdistan which also includes parts of southeastern Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan), northeastern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), and northwestern Iran (Iranian Kurdistan). In the course of the Syrian Civil War, Syrian government forces withdrew from three Kurdish enclaves leaving control to local militias in 2012.
The Kurdish Supreme Committee (Desteya Bilind a Kurd, DBK) was established by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC) as the governing body of Syrian Kurdistan in July 2012. The member board consists of an equal number of PYD and KNC members. In November 2013, the PYD announced an interim government divided into three non-contiguous autonomous areas or cantons, Afrin, Jazira and Kobani.
The DBK's armed wing is the People's Protection Units (Yekîtîyên Parastina Gel, YPG). Military service was declared compulsory in July 2014.