The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria was established by the regional parliament on March 16, 2016. Previously, the Kurds used mainly the name “Rožava”, which means “West” in Kurdish language. It is connected to the fact that the Kurds were divided among four countries: Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The regions they live in nowadays are called Bakur, Rożhalat, Bashur and Roożawa respectively.
The territorial expansion of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) caused the name’s change (more information on SDF can be found in the fourth tag). SDF are Kurdish and Arab militias supported by the United States. The acquired territories are ethnically diverse. That is why a more universal name was chosen.