Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), also known as Rojava,[lower-alpha 1] is a de facto autonomous region in northeastern Syria.[13][14] It consists of self-governing sub-regions in the areas of Afrin, Jazira, Euphrates, Raqqa, Tabqa, Manbij and Deir Ez-Zor.[15][16][17] The region gained its de facto autonomy in 2012 in the context of the ongoing Rojava conflict and the wider Syrian Civil War, in which its official military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has taken part.[18][19]

Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria
  • Rêveberiya Xweser a Bakur û Rojhilatê Sûriyeyê  (Kurdish)
    الإدارة الذاتية لشمال وشرق سوريا  (Arabic)
    ܡܕܰܒܪܳܢܘܬ݂ܳܐ ܝܳܬ݂ܰܝܬܳܐ ܠܓܰܪܒܝܳܐ ܘܡܰܕܢܚܳܐ ܕܣܘܪܝܰܐ  (Classical Syriac)
    Kuzey ve Doğu Suriye Özerk Yönetimi  (Turkish)
Areas under the region's administration
StatusDe facto autonomous region of Syria
CapitalAyn Issa[1][2]
36°23′7″N 38°51′34″E
Largest cityRaqqa
Official languagesSee languages

All Regions:

In the Jazira Region:

In the Manbij Region:

GovernmentLibertarian socialist federated semi-direct democracy
Îlham Ehmed[3]
Mansur Selum[4]
 Co-Chairs
Amina Omar
Riad Darar[5]
LegislatureSyrian Democratic Council
Autonomous region
 Transitional administration declared
2013
 Cantons declare autonomy
January 2014
 Cantons declare federation
17 March 2016
 New administration declared
6 September 2018
Area
 Total
50,000 km2 (19,000 sq mi)[6]
Population
 2018 estimate
≈2,000,000[7]
CurrencySyrian pound (SYP)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
Driving sideright
  1. ^ Several symbols have been used to represent the entity in official settings. See Symbols of North and East Syria for more.

While entertaining some foreign relations, the region is not officially recognized as autonomous by the government of Syria or any state or organization.[20] The AANES has widespread support for its universal equal democratic, sustainable, autonomous pluralist, equal, and feminist policies in dialogues with other parties and organizations.[21][22][23][24] Northeastern Syria is polyethnic and home to sizeable ethnic Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian populations, with smaller communities of ethnic Turkmen, Armenians, Circassians, and Yazidis.[25][26][27]

The supporters of the region's administration state that it is an officially secular polity[28][29][30] with direct democratic ambitions based on an anarchistic, feminist, and libertarian socialist ideology promoting decentralization, gender equality,[31][32] environmental sustainability, social ecology and pluralistic tolerance for religious, cultural and political diversity, and that these values are mirrored in its constitution, society, and politics, stating it to be a model for a federalized Syria as a whole, rather than outright independence.[33][34][35][36][37] The region's administration has also been criticized by various partisan and non-partisan sources over supposed authoritarianism, support of the Syrian government,[38] Kurdification, and has faced some accusations of displacement.[39] However, despite this the AANES has been the most democratic system in Syria, with direct open elections, universal equality, respecting human rights within the region, as well as defense of minority and religious rights within Syria.[40][41][42][21][43][44][45]

The region has implemented a new social justice approach which emphasizes rehabilitation, empowerment and social care over retribution. The death penalty was abolished. Prisons house mostly people charged with terrorist activity related to ISIL and other extremist groups, and are a large strain on the region's economy. The autonomous region is ruled by a coalition which bases its policy ambitions to a large extent on democratic libertarian socialist ideology of democratic confederalism and have been described as pursuing a model of economy that blends co-operative and market enterprise, through a system of local councils in minority, cultural and religious representation. The AANES has by far the highest average salaries and standard of living throughout Syria, with salaries being twice as large as in regime controlled Syria; following the collapse of the Syrian Pound the AANES doubled salaries to maintain inflation, and allow for good wages. Independent organizations providing healthcare in the region include the Kurdish Red Crescent,[46] the Syrian American Medical Society,[47] the Free Burma Rangers[48] and Doctors Without Borders.[49]

Since 2016, Turkish and Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces have occupied parts of Rojava through a series of military operations against the SDF. The AANES and SDF has stated it will defend all regions of autonomous administration from any aggressiveness.[50][51]