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Middle East: Syrian Kurds, Arab Rebels and Assyrians Form New Alliance - by Jack Moore

A U.S.-backed Syrian-Kurdish militia, a number of Arab rebel groups and an Assyrian Christian group in Syria have formed a coalition to build a democratic representation for a number of moderate parties within Syria, according to a statement seen by Reuters on Monday.

The new alliance, which is calling itself the Democratic Forces of Syria, includes the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) that beat back the Islamic State (ISIS) with the support of U.S. airstrikes in the Syrian-Kurdish border town of Kobani earlier this year. The YPG continues to battle the radical Islamist group in areas of northeastern Syria and the formation of this coalition may act as a step towards an offensive against the group.

The group also includes Syrian rebel groups such as Jaysh al-Thuwwar (Army of Rebels)—a coalition of seven groups of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army that is fighting both ISIS and the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—as well as three other rebel factions.

These Arab groups fall under the umbrella of the Syrian Arab Coalition. Christian Assyrian group named the Syriac Military Council (MFS) that is fighting ISIS in northern Syria has also joined the new alliance.

Read more: Syrian Kurds, Arab Rebels and Assyrians Form New Alliance

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