clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How Syria’s Kurds are trying to create a democracy

It’s an unlikely place for a democratic revolution.

Now in its seventh year, the Syrian war has entered a new phase. Turkey invaded northwest Syria in January, while Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad reportedly dropped chemical weapons on his own people outside the country’s capital, Damascus. ISIS is confined to a few remote pockets of territory in the south and east.

But one of the most dramatic developments is happening in the north, where Kurdish people have set up an autonomous region, Rojava. What makes the situation unique is that they are calling it a “democracy.” They claim to seek representation from diverse ethnicities and religions while promoting gender equality and secular local governments.

Watch the video above to see how Rojava was carved out of ISIS territory, pushing the Syrian war into a new phase. You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. Subscribe for the latest.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.