Syria: The Shameful Alliance of the Saudi Monarchy and the “Left-Wing” YPG


By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 4 July 2019,




As is generally known, the Kurdish YPG/PYD has been celebrated by numerous liberal, anarchist, Stalinist, and pseudo-Trotskyist forces in the West and East. They characterize this organization as “left-wing” and feminist and call for its support by progressive forces.


This has always been a myth, as the RCIT has pointed out on a number of occasions. [1] The chimera of the “progressive” YPG has now been dealt another blow. According to a report Thamer al-Sabhan, Saudi minister of state for Middle East affairs, visited Deir ez-Zor on 13 June. There “he met with Kurdish leaders, US Deputy Secretary of State Joel Rayburn, US Ambassador William Roebuck and a number of Arab sheikhs and dignitaries. During his visit, Sabhan called on Arab tribes to join forces with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to prevent the return of the Islamic State (IS) and end the protests that broke out in Deir ez-Zor after the SDF liberated it from IS in March.[2]


This is an example of the shameful alliance of the “left-wing” YPG with the Saudi monarchy. The Saudi regime is one of the most totalitarian dictatorships in the region and a loyal and trusted ally of the Trump Administration (together with the United Arab Emirates). It suppresses women rights in the most outrageous way. It finances and supports brutal dictatorships like that of General Sisi in Egypt or the warlord General Haftar in Libya. It has launched a barbarous war of aggression against the Yemeni people that has, already, resulted in thousands of civilians being killed. It murdered the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the most heinous way.


The unconcealed support of this barbarous regime for the YPG destroys once more Stalinist claims concerning the progressive character of this militia. It confirms the RCIT statement that the petty-bourgeois nationalist YPG has played, all in all, a shameful and reactionary role from the beginning of the Syrian Revolution in 2011. [3]


In the first years of the popular uprising the YPG failed to unite the Kurdish masses with the Arab people rising up against the reactionary Assad tyranny. Instead, they offered their collaboration. Since 2015 it has closely worked with US imperialism and, effectively, became the infantry of the Western Great Powers in the areas of Syria where they had a presence.


True, the YPG legitimately defended the Kurdish people against the attacks of the reactionary terrorists of Daesh/ISIS. But this struggle became more and more subordinated to their service as foot soldiers for U.S. imperialism. As such, the YPG helped the imperialists to conquer large parts of Eastern Syria. In effect, it has become an occupying force over the Arab populations of Raqqa and other non-Kurdish regions. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in an increasing number of local protests.[4] More recently, the YPG/SDF leadership has again begun negotiations with the Assad regime. [5]


In short, contrary to the propaganda of the petty-bourgeois left in West and East, socialists can lend no support to the YPG. They must rather denounce them as servants of Western imperialism and the ultra-reactionary dictatorship of Saudi Arabia.




[1] See e.g. RCIT: Obituary: The Tragic Death of Lorenzo Orsetti, 20 March 2019,; Michael Pröbsting: The Revelations of a U.S. General on Washington’s Allies in Syria. Another Blow to the Stalinist Myths about the Character of Syrian Liberation Fighters and the Role of the Kurdish SDF/YPG, 27.10.2017,; Kissing the Feet of the Saudi Chainsaw-Crown Prince. On the Shameful Response of the Kurdish YPG on the Killing of the Saudi Journalist Kashoggi, 20.10.2018,

[2] Lamar Erkendi: Damascus vies with Saudi-Kurd union for tribal support, July 1, 2019

[3] The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements, and articles on the Syrian Revolution that can be accessed on a special sub-section of this website: In particular we refer to RCIT: Save the Syrian Revolution! A call for international solidarity with the Syrian people in Idlib suffering from the barbarous onslaught by Assad and Putin! 04 June 2019,; Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017,; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, February 2018, Chapter V,; Michael Pröbsting: Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018,

[4] See on this e.g. Arab residents rally against Kurdish rule in Syria's Deir Az Zor, 2019-05-08; Suleiman Al-Khalidi: Anti-Kurdish protests grow in Syria's Deir al-Zor: residents, locals, May 8, 2019 /; Bassem Mroue: Anti-Kurdish protests in east Syria could endanger US plans, 2019-05-09; Shelly Kittleson: More Arab protests expected against Kurdish SDF in Syria, June 3, 2019

[5] See on this e.g. Hossam Rabie: Syria’s Kurds seek outside help to negotiate with regime, January 13, 2019,; AFP: ISIS will be defeated in a month, says Syrian Kurdish militia leader, Jan 25, 2019,; Rodi Said: Exclusive: Syrian Kurdish YPG expects negotiations with Damascus soon, January 24, 2019,