From the IDF to the Kurdish YPG, Canadian-Israeli woman returns to Israel

view videoAfter fighting jihadist group in  Syria & Iraq, Canadian-Israeli woman says, ‘I trained with the IDF & the Kurds taught me how to fight ISIS’.

By i24news


After nearly a year of fighting against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, a Canadian-Israeli woman is back in Israel.

Gill Rosenberg with Kurdish fighters in Syria – Facebook

In an exclusive interview with i24news aired on Sunday, Gill Rosenberg, 31, said that she joined the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units in Syrian Kurdistan) to help them fight the radical Islamist group that has claimed swathes of territory in region.

“It feels very surreal, but I’m glad to be home,” Rosenberg said.

Born in Vancouver, Canada, she immigrated to Israel in 2006. She was arrested in 2009 for fraud after a joint Israel-FBI operation and served four years in prison. Her sentence was eventually shortened and she was instead deported back to Israel, according to local Israeli media reports.

Rosenberg served in the Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command, and told i24news reporter Mael Benoliel she eventually switched from the YPG to a unit in Iraq that was working alongside the Peshmerga.

“I was in the Israeli army a few years ago,” she affirms. “I went through basic training and then [with the Kurds] I was trained to use all kinds of weapons that I was not yet familiar with.”

Rosenberg gained international fame for becoming the first foreign woman to join the Kurds battling IS.

“We were either holding lines to stop Daesh (IS) from moving forward or we were actively engaging them in fighting,” she said.

Rosenberg said that she had contacted Kurdish fighters via the Internet and arrived in Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, in November 2014. Landing in Syria, she met with YPG contacts in Erbil before she traveled into northern Syria.

Rosenberg said she decided to leave the area and return to Israel because she “couldn’t stand to see all these women and children being raped and mutilated and tortured and killed and sold into sex slavery.”

“The situation is not good, there are three million refugees in Kurdistan,” she said. “It’s the women and children that are primarily suffering more than anyone.”


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