Ninety-six (96) local, regional, and international organizations and entities (prime actors) were identified by their peers as influential in the life of Syria. In the chart below, the left column ranks the prime actors from most influential in shaping the life in Syria (Russia) to the least influential (Relief International).

The chart also shows the classification of prime actors into five stances indicating the actor's support and contribution to inclusive nationalism for Syria, starting from the most committed (Core) to the least committed (Saboteur).

Amount of influence of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the life of Syria, and its commitment to inclusive nationalism for Syria.

25 prime actors participated in the following:

  • Determining the rank of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party according to the amount of its influence on life in Syria. As shown in the chart below, the PYD ranked 7th most influential prime actor.
  • Assessing and classifying the Kurdish Democratic Union Party according to its commitment to inclusive nationalism for Syria (also indicated in the same row by the colored rectangle). Of the 25 prime actors who participated in the assessments, more agreed that the PYD falls under the category of 'Saboteur'. A prime actor assessed as Saboteur is seen as working against a sovereign, stable, inclusive, and developing Syria.
Syria R3 PA PYD x.jpg

In response to the question, “How would you weaken the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, a prime actor seen as a Saboteur?”

A Round 3 participants suggested how to weaken this the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) who were mostly seen as a Saboteur:

"Stop providing weapons to them. Precondition their political behavior for access to political talks." (231642)


In response to the question, “How is the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) important in the life of Syria?” 

Round 3 participants stated (Nov. 2016 - Jul. 2017):

"The PYD is influential in suppressing other Kurdish groups. The United States supports them with weapons. They are the only Kurdish group in Syria with a military wing. The PKK also provides for them. The United States thinks they are a democratic group. They use the PYD because they are a simple way to have a military presence.” (231642)

"They are the military force of the Kurdish Regional Government.” (233121)

"The PYD is influential because the United States supports it. It is only powerful in the north of Syria. There will come a time when everyone will fight them. They use the revolution to their advantage. They never fought the regime.” (230713)

"They control about 16% of Syrian territory in a resource rich area (oil). They have some relations with all parties even though they are fighting them at the same time. They are a prime force against ISIL. They will have an important role in reconstruction.” (233911)

"The PYD is an instrument of the international community. They were never recognized until today. They will have a future role if Syria is federated. They will have autonomy. They have prepared by opening a census office. The regime is also preparing for it.” (233881)

"The Kurds are trying to divide Syria to make their own country.” (231211)

"The PYD are the main fighting force against Daesh. They could be an element of destabilization for Turkey if they are not contained in Syria. They want autonomy, but not total separation. The separation debate is overrated.” (238631)

"They are the same as the PKK. They are terrorists. They destroy the villages of Arabs and Turkmen, even opposing Kurdish groups. They are the same as ISIL, only Kurdish. They are the political arm of a terrorist group.” (234281)

Round 2 participants stated (Aug. 2016 - Oct. 2017):

“They control a large piece of territory in the north of Syria, economically and politically. They want Syria to be federal. They are not extremists. They are not democratic, despite their name. They are less extremist than any other group in the area.” (221641)

“They are the military wing of the PKK and spinal cord for Syrian Democratic forces. They control an oil-rich region. They claim to be fighting terrorism with US support, but they have a national vision for their own state.” (223881)

“The United States is still using them instead of the Free Syrian Army.” (221211) 

“They greatly improve the quality of life in areas they control, which generates support.” (221641)

“The importance lies in the amount of fighters they have, and their support from the United States and Russia.” (223911)

“The Kurds are trying to divide Syria to make their own country.” (221211)

Round 1 participants stated (Jan. 2016 - May 2016):

“The United States is supporting them [against] Daesh, but they evicted non-Kurds from Syrian territory.” (214281)

“They will have autonomy in their own region. They are an example of Syria's likely future as collection of federated states.” (215261)