They are relatively flat except for the Kurd Mountains in Afrin Canton.
In terms of governorates of Syria, Rojava is formed from most of al-Hasakah Governorate, the northern parts of Raqqa Governorate, the northwestern parts of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate and the northwestern and northeastern Aleppo Governorate.
It is also considered by Assyrians as Gozarto (meaning Upper Mesopotamia), part of the historical Syriac-Assyrian homeland.
While entertaining some foreign relations, the cantons within Rojava are not officially recognized as autonomous by the government of Syria or any international state or organization. On 17 March 2016, its de facto administration self-declared the establishment of a federal system of government as the Democratic Federation of Rojava – Northern Syria (Kurdish: Federaliya Demokratîk a Rojava - Bakurê Sûriyê; Arabic: Jazira Canton borders Iraqi Kurdistan to the southeast. All cantons are at latitude approximately 36 and a half degrees north.
Soon YPG also gained control of the cities of Al-Malikiyah, Ras al-Ayn, al-Darbasiyah, and al-Muabbada and parts of Hasakah and Qamishli.
The Kurdish community’s role in the military continued under the Ottomans.
The largest such instance was a consequence of a census in 1962, which was conducted for exactly this purpose.
120,000 ethnic Kurdish citizens saw their citizenship arbitrarily taken away and became stateless.
In his report for the 12th session of the UN Human Rights Council titled Persecution and Discrimination against Kurdish Citizens in Syria, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights held that "Successive Syrian governments continued to adopt a policy of ethnic discrimination and national persecution against Kurds, completely depriving them of their national, democratic and human rights – an integral part of human existence.
The government imposed ethnically-based programs, regulations and exclusionary measures on various aspects of Kurds’ lives – political, economic, social and cultural." In many instances, the Syrian government arbitrarily deprived ethnic Kurdish citizens of their citizenship.