Senior Member
BBC NEWS : Is Tal Abyad a turning point for Syria's Kurds?

The capture of the strategic northern border town of Tal Abyad from Islamic State (IS) is the latest in a string of gains by the dominant Kurdish militia in Syria, the YPG, and its political branch, the PYD, across the north of the country since 2011.

In January, their fighters grabbed world attention when they drove IS out of Kobane, another border town further east.

Now, the YPG, working with some Free Syrian Army-aligned rebels, and backed by US-led coalition air strikes, have taken control of Tal Abyad, with its ethnically mixed population, that had been held by IS since last year.

Can you explain what does 'aligned' mean above? Thanks.
  • SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    That means that they (the rebels) are on the side of the Free Syrian Army.

    See this definition in the WR dictionary:

    to bring into agreement with a particular group, cause, etc.:aligned himself with the minority party.[be + aligned + with]was aligned with the minority party.​


    English - U.S.
    Its not [Free Syrian] Army-aligned, its [Free Syrian Army]-aligned.

    "Aligned" here means allied with or cooperating with. YPG is working with some rebels who are aligned with the Free Syrian Army. One might equally say that in Syria, Hezbollah is Iran-aligned.

    It would have been better to write the sentence as "the YPG, working with some rebels aligned with the Free Syrian Army, and backed by air strikes by the coalition led by the US, have taken control of Tal Abyad . . ." Presumably the writer was working under a word limit or did not want to repeat the prepositions "with" and "by."
    < Previous | Next >