Rojava means “west” in Kurdish. It is a reference to the fact that the Kurds have been separated between four countries: Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The regions the Kurds inhabit are respectively called: Bakur, Rojhalat, Bashur and Rojava.
Currently the area is also called Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. The change was dictated by the territorial expansion of the Syrian Democratic Forces which is the name of the Kurdish and Arab militias supported by the United States. The conquered territories are ethnically diverse. Due to that fact, a new, more universal name was chosen for the area that used to be called Rojava. The so-called Democratic Federation of Northern Syria” was set up by the regional parliament on March 16th, 2016.
Rojava is not recognized by the authorities in Damascus.