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The Newsroom => Military Current Affairs & News => Topic started by: Humphrey Bogart on November 21, 2014, 12:28:33

Title: Canadian Civilians Fighting ISIS (including threats to YPG)
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on November 21, 2014, 12:28:33
Surprised this hasn't been posted yet

Courtesy of the National Post:
http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/11/21/canadian-who-volunteered-to-fight-with-kurds-against-isis-says-its-the-right-thing-to-do/ (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/11/21/canadian-who-volunteered-to-fight-with-kurds-against-isis-says-its-the-right-thing-to-do/)

Quote
Canadian who volunteered to fight with Kurds against ISIS says it’s the ‘right thing to do’

Dillon Hillier was working construction in Alberta when ISIS gunmen began their brutal push into Kurdish territory. A veteran of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, he decided he couldn’t just watch it happen.

Last weekend, the 26-year-old infantryman left Calgary and flew to northeastern Iraq to help Kurdish fighters fend off the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham. “I just felt it was the right thing to do since they’re facing some pretty tough times,” he said in an interview.

The first veteran of the Canadian military known to have joined Kurdish forces battling ISIS, Mr. Hillier is part of a growing number of Western volunteers heading to the region to participate in the fight against the armed extremists.

“I look at what I’m doing as no different than when thousands of Canadians went to fight the Germans in World War II,” said Mr. Hillier, who served in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. “And I think ISIS is far more barbaric.”

Unlike the radicalized youths who have flocked to Syria and Iraq, Mr. Hillier is a military veteran and he is siding with ISIS’s most formidable enemy, the Peshmerga. Mr. Hillier said he expected to be joined over the coming weeks by volunteers from Canada, the United States and Sweden.

To help Canadians eager to fight ISIS, an Ottawa military veteran recently formed the 1st North American Expeditionary Force. Ian Bradbury said former Canadian Forces members had launched the non-profit group to provide financial and logistical support to friends who felt compelled to volunteer.

“Each of them has to buy their own kit before they leave,” he said. “And that gets quite expensive.” He put the cost at about $3,500, but said he hoped the group would provide donated clothing and equipment as well as discount airfares. On its Facebook page, it also offers “verified contacts” with Peshmerga units. Mr. Bradbury said he knew Mr. Hillier and had helped ensure his Peshmerga contacts were genuine.

“We’re just kind of a central authority to help guys out,” he said. The group was careful to ensure it was doing nothing illegal, he added. “As long as nobody’s being trained here, as long as we’re not forming any militia, it’s all in bounds.”

Originally from Carleton Place, Ont., Mr. Hillier joined the military at age 20. (At his request, the National Post agreed not to identify his well-known family for security reasons.) During the 2011 Manitoba floods, he packed sandbags to hold back the Assiniboine River.

In June 2013, he was sent to Kabul for six months as part of Operation Attention, a NATO mission that trained the Afghan security forces. He left the military in March after five years of service and found construction work in Alberta.

As a student of history he was familiar with the long struggle for Kurdish independence, and he was troubled by the violent ISIS challenge to the Kurds.

Because the semi-autonomous Iraqi-Kurdistan region centred north of Baghdad is secular, democratic and pro-Western, ISIS views it as an obstacle to the puritanical Islamic State it wants to impose in the region. Kurdish children kidnapped by ISIS have been tortured and forced to pray five times a day, Human Rights Watch said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in the Kurdish capital Irbil on Wednesday that left five dead. In a communiqué posted on Twitter, ISIS called Kurds “apostate traitors” and said more attacks were coming “Allah permitting.”

“It’s absolutely disgusting,” Mr. Hillier said of ISIS. By contrast, he said the Kurds were broad-minded and tolerant. “They don’t care that I’m not a Muslim, it’s a non-issue for them. They’re different than the people they’re fighting.”

Through Facebook, he found a contact who put him in touch with a Peshmerga recruiter. “It wasn’t terribly difficult,” he said in an interview before he left. “The only thing I was worried about was walking into a trap, but I’ve confirmed the identities of people.”

In a sign of the increased interest in fighting alongside the Kurds, a Peshmerga Facebook page now offers tips for Western volunteers, suggesting travel routes and how much cash to bring (US$5,000). Volunteers shouldn’t expect to get paid, it said, but are free to leave whenever they wish.

While it warned not to bring weapons, it said AK-47s cost $700 to $2,000 at the local bazaars and M-16s and M-4s went for $3,000 to $4,000. But that could be recouped by selling them later, it added. “It would help if you have some former basic military training or experience.”

Veronica Kitchen, an associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo, said it was not illegal to fight in a foreign conflict — although traveling abroad to participate in terrorism would be against the law.

As a result, while Canadians who join groups like ISIS or the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusrah Front could face charges upon their return to Canada, those helping the Peshmerga would not, provided they did not commit acts of terrorism as defined by the Criminal Code.

Mr. Hillier flew to London and Qatar before boarding a flight to Sulaymaniyah, in northern Iraq. He posted photos of himself on Facebook at a Peshmerga base on Tuesday, prompting comments of support and surprise. “What the hell are you doing there?” one friend wrote.

He said he hoped to pass on what he had learned in the Canadian Forces to the Kurds, whom he said were skilled mountain fighters but could benefit from his urban combat training, since they were now fighting street battles against ISIS in cities and towns. “I think what we can do is a bit of mentoring.”

He encouraged other veterans to join him, saying that even 10 could make a difference against ISIS, which is filled with foreign extremists, some of them Canadians. “If I can help stop one person from dying, I think it’ll be worth it,” he said. “And I hope to accomplish a lot more than that.”

It is a mission not unlike the one being carried out by the dozens of Canadian Forces personnel currently providing “strategic and technical advice” to the Iraqi security forces. Canadian CF-18s have also been bombing ISIS targets in Iraq.

Reached by phone in Iraq on Thursday, Mr. Hillier said he was gearing up for his deployment to the front lines, convinced he had done the right thing. “These people are amazing,” he said of the Kurds. “They’re just very, very friendly and just really hospitable.”

National Post


- mod edit to clarify content -
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Flavus101 on November 21, 2014, 17:47:01
This is a link to their facebook page: Click Here (https://www.facebook.com/1stNorthAmericanExpeditionaryForce?fref=nf)

And a CBC article about a former member of the CAF heading over to volunteer with the Kurds to fight ISIS.

Link (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/canadian-military-veterans-plan-to-enlist-with-kurds-battling-isis-1.2844566)


Quote
Canadian military veterans plan to enlist with Kurds battling ISIS

A number of Canadian military veterans say they'll be enlisting with the growing ranks of foreign fighters who have joined the Kurdish battle against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

CBC News has learned of a half-dozen former Canadian Forces personnel planning to join Kurdish troops in the following weeks and months, with some citing what they see as an insufficient military response by Canada to the onslaught by the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Fighting ISIS: Canadian-Israeli woman joins Kurds in Syria
Turkey opposes U.S. arms transfer to Kurds in Kobani
​​Airstrikes get more accurate with help from Kurds
At least a half-dozen others are said to be considering going.

The earliest any of the veterans said they would head to Iraq, where the Kurdish effort is centred, is next month.

"I got put on this Earth to do one thing," explained one of the men, who served in Afghanistan and who spoke with CBC on condition he not be identified. "I got this fire in me. I still want to soldier on."


Fighting ISIS: Canadian-Israeli Gill Rosenberg first foreign woman to joins Kurds in Syria
It emerged two weeks ago that Gill Rosenberg, a Canadian-Israeli, had become the first female foreign fighter to join the Kurds fighting ISIS. (Facebook)

He characterized Canada's military response to ISIS as "OK, but it's definitely not adequate," and said there should be "boots on the ground."

The man said he plans to enlist with four or five other friends from the military, and has few compunctions about possibly encountering fellow Canadians fighting for ISIS on the other side.

"That's the enemy in my opinion​.... ​If I come across an ISIS member that is Canadian and he's shooting at me, I will shoot back."

At least three other Canadians are known or reported to have already joined the Kurdish forces:

A Kurdish commander told CBC News a Canadian military veteran had recently arrived and is currently on the front lines.
Canadian-Israeli Gill Rosenberg became the first foreign woman to join the Kurds when she travelled to Iraq to train; she told Israeli radio last week she would go into combat in next-door Syria.
Dillon Hillier, a construction worker in Alberta and veteran of the Afghanistan mission, flew to northeastern Iraq last weekend, it emerged on Friday. 
When asked about reports Hillier is in Iraq, Ontario MPP Randy Hillier and wife Jane Hillier said in statement: "There are no words which can adequately describe how proud we are of our son Dillon, including his past service with the Canadian Armed Forces. While we have limited contact with Dillon, we do know he is safe and sound.

"As a proud Canadian, he has always cherished and defended the freedoms we are all afforded in this great country," the statement continued.

'There's a risk'

Department of National Defence officials meeting at a security summit in Halifax had no comment on the matter when asked by CBC News.

It is not illegal in Canada to enlist in a foreign militant force, provided it is not a group the federal government designates as a terrorist entity and it is not engaged in hostilities against Canada or its allies.

That does present a potential problem in this case, though, said Jez Littlewood, an assistant professor of international affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa.

"There are strong indications that we're seeing groups from Turkey such as the PKK, who are also supporting the Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga, in northern Iraq," Littlewood said.

The PKK — the Kurdish initials for the Kurdistan Workers Party — is a Kurdish nationalist militant group that Canada lists as a terrorist entity.

"So there's a risk that any individuals who come into contact even inadvertently or indirectly with the PKK could in fact be falling afoul of supporting a terrorist organization," Littlewood said.

Support group

Enough Canadian veterans have expressed interest in fighting alongside Kurdish forces that a number of them have formed a support group.

Ian Bradbury of Ottawa said the 1st North American Expeditionary Force, as the group is known, aims to provide guidance and verification of overseas contacts for freelance fighters.

"We make sure they have an understanding of what it is that they're doing," and advise on things like kit preparation and travel plans, he said.

He added that the veterans he's heard from are motivated by the perception ISIS is working to "terrorize" civilians in Iraq and Syria.   

"It's definitely pulling at the strings of a lot of the guys that take it on themselves to be the defenders of innocents," Bradbury said. 

Kurds in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq have been battling militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group, also known as ISIL, for months, backed by the United States and the European Union.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have also more recently entered neighbouring Syria to counter ISIS there, particularly around Kobani.

Calgary man's photo found in files revealing ISIS's underbelly
Canada began deploying fighter jets and support personnel to the Mideast last month as part of an aerial bombardment mission against ISIS.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on November 21, 2014, 18:17:38
From CBC  http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/canadian-military-veterans-plan-to-enlist-with-kurds-battling-isis-1.2844566

Quote

Canadian military veterans plan to enlist with Kurds battling ISIS

'I got this fire in me. I still want to soldier on,' says one man who served in Afghanistan

CBC News Posted: Nov 21, 2014 12:24 PM ET| Last Updated: Nov 21, 2014 3:57 PM ET

A number of Canadian military veterans say they'll be enlisting with the growing ranks of foreign fighters who have joined the Kurdish battle against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  CBC News has learned of a half-dozen former Canadian Forces personnel planning to join Kurdish troops in the following weeks and months, with some citing what they see as an insufficient military response by Canada to the onslaught by the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

At least a half-dozen others are said to be considering going.  The earliest any of the veterans said they would head to Iraq, where the Kurdish effort is centred, is next month.  I got put on this Earth to do one thing," explained one of the men, who served in Afghanistan and who spoke with CBC on condition he not be identified. "I got this fire in me. I still want to soldier on."

He characterized Canada's military response to ISIS as "OK, but it's definitely not adequate," and said there should be "boots on the ground."
The man said he plans to enlist with four or five other friends from the military, and has few compunctions about possibly encountering fellow Canadians fighting for ISIS on the other side.  "That's the enemy in my opinion​.... ​If I come across an ISIS member that is Canadian and he's shooting at me, I will shoot back."

At least three other Canadians are known or reported to have already joined the Kurdish forces:
■A Kurdish commander told CBC News a Canadian military veteran had recently arrived and is currently on the front lines.
■Canadian-Israeli Gill Rosenberg became the first foreign woman to join the Kurds when she travelled to Iraq to train; she told Israeli radio last week she would go into combat in next-door Syria.
■Dillon Hillier, a construction worker in Alberta and veteran of the Afghanistan mission, flew to northeastern Iraq last weekend, it emerged on Friday. 

When asked about reports Hillier is in Iraq, Ontario MPP Randy Hillier and wife Jane Hillier said in statement: "There are no words which can adequately describe how proud we are of our son Dillon, including his past service with the Canadian Armed Forces. While we have limited contact with Dillon, we do know he is safe and sound.  "As a proud Canadian, he has always cherished and defended the freedoms we are all afforded in this great country," the statement continued.

'There's a risk'   

Department of National Defence officials meeting at a security summit in Halifax had no comment on the matter when asked by CBC News.
It is not illegal in Canada to enlist in a foreign militant force, provided it is not a group the federal government designates as a terrorist entity and it is not engaged in hostilities against Canada or its allies.

That does present a potential problem in this case, though, said Jez Littlewood, an assistant professor of international affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa.  "There are strong indications that we're seeing groups from Turkey such as the PKK, who are also supporting the Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga, in northern Iraq," Littlewood said.

The PKK — the Kurdish initials for the Kurdistan Workers Party — is a Kurdish nationalist militant group that Canada lists as a terrorist entity.
"So there's a risk that any individuals who come into contact even inadvertently or indirectly with the PKK could in fact be falling afoul of supporting a terrorist organization," Littlewood said.

Support group

Enough Canadian veterans have expressed interest in fighting alongside Kurdish forces that a number of them have formed a support group.
Ian Bradbury of Ottawa said the 1st North American Expeditionary Force, as the group is known, aims to provide guidance and verification of overseas contacts for freelance fighters.

"We make sure they have an understanding of what it is that they're doing," and advise on things like kit preparation and travel plans, he said.
He added that the veterans he's heard from are motivated by the perception ISIS is working to "terrorize" civilians in Iraq and Syria.  "It's definitely pulling at the strings of a lot of the guys that take it on themselves to be the defenders of innocents," Bradbury said. 

Kurds in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq have been battling militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group, also known as ISIL, for months, backed by the United States and the European Union.  Kurdish Peshmerga forces have also more recently entered neighbouring Syria to counter ISIS there, particularly around Kobani.  Canada began deploying fighter jets and support personnel to the Mideast last month as part of an aerial bombardment mission against ISIS.

With files from CBC's Laura Lynch and David McDougall
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jeffb on November 22, 2014, 20:52:30
This looks like a 21st century version of the International Brigade that fought in the Spanish Civil War. I wish the guys that go over the best of luck and a better result than those of 80 years ago.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: MCG on November 23, 2014, 02:02:31
The CDS encourages CAF veterans not to go join the Peshmerga, but the government is not going to stand in the way of any who do choose to go.
Quote
Government, military send mixed messages on Canadians joining Kurds in ISIS fight
At least six Canadians planning to enlisting in Kurdish forces
CBC News
22 Nov 2014

There are mixed messages coming from the federal government and military regarding Canadian military vets enlisting with Kurdish forces to fight against ISIS in Iraq.

On Saturday, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney told CBC News that the government “would not oppose a citizen who is willing to engage in a battle for liberty and helping the victims of barbaric crimes,” alluding to several well-documented massacres of civilians by ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria. Some of the killings have been videotaped and posted online to pro-ISIS YouTube accounts.

Blaney was in Halifax on Saturday attending the sixth annual International Security Forum, where the threat from ISIS and Canada’s response to it took a prominent place in discussions.

Also at that meeting was Chief of Defence Staff Tom Lawson, who wasn’t as welcoming to the idea of Canadian vets travelling overseas to join the fight against ISIS on the ground.

“I don’t encourage Canadians to leave our nation and head to other nations to get involved with the militaries of that nation,” Lawson said.

Rather, he added, vets who want to help combat ISIS should re-enlist in the Canadian Forces.

Earlier this week, CBC News reported that at least a half-dozen Canadian military veterans are currently planning on enlisting with Kurdish forces in the upcoming weeks and months. There are currently at least three Canadians purportedly fighting alongside Kurdish troops.

On Saturday, one veteran, who wished to remain anonymous, said that it was the U.S.-led coalition’s decision not to send ground troops that spurred his decision to eventually travel to northern Iraq, despite the enormous risk.

“It’s a different army and at the same time we’re going in blind. But that’s one of the risks we’re going to have to take,” he told CBC News.

It is not illegal in Canada to enlist in a foreign military force, provided it is not a group the federal government designates as a terrorist entity and it is not engaged in hostilities against Canada or its allies.

But there are several potentially complicating legal factors that could affect those who travel overseas to fight against ISIS. Some Kurdish forces themselves been accused of war crimes, including killing prisoners and destroying villages in search of ISIS sympathizers. Kurdish officials have denied the allegations.

Similarly, Canadians travelling to Iraq and Syria could find themselves rubbing shoulders with the Kurdish PKK, a nationalist militant group in the region that fought a nearly three decade war against Turkey for independence. The Kurdish PKK is banned in Canada and the United States, where they are classified as a terrorist entity.

But the veteran who spoke with CBC News said that there are ways to ensure that his enlistment will adhere to Canadian and international law.

“You know you can’t be going around like a cowboy shooting everything. You have to be responsible, professional and follow the guidelines of the laws of war.”

Lawson acknowledged that some veterans may enlist with the Kurds even without the consent of the Canadian military, but offered up some advice to anyone considering the move.

“Be very careful. You’re swimming with the sharks and there’s no safety net, to mix analogies.”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/government-military-send-mixed-messages-on-canadians-joining-kurds-in-isis-fight-1.2846120
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on November 23, 2014, 08:51:47
Quote
.... The Kurdish PKK is banned in Canada and the United States, where they are classified as a terrorist entity ....
More on that from Public Safety Canada here (http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx#2035):
Quote
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)

Also known as
Kurdistan Workers Party, Partya Karkeren Kurdistan, Kurdistan Labor Party, Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress, KADEK, Kurdistan People's Congress, Kurdistan Halk Kongresi (KHK), People's Congress of Kurdistan, Kongra-Gel

Description
Formally established in Turkey in 1978 by Abdullah Ocalan, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK / KADEK) is a Kurdish political party whose main goal is the creation of an independent Kurdish state in southeast Turkey and in northern Iraq, a region that is part of the traditional territory of the Kurdish people. To reach its goal, the PKK / KADEK has led a campaign of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, especially in Turkey and in northern Iraq. Its activities include attacking the Turkish military, diplomats and Turkish businesses at home and in some western European cities. It has also been known to bomb resorts and kidnap tourists in an attempt to destabilize tourism in Turkey.

Date listed
2002-12-10

Date reviewed
2012-11-20

Full regs re:  listed entities here (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2002-284/FullText.html).
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Greymatters on November 23, 2014, 11:43:42
Couple comments from another forum (1st link) and an article about another Canadian (2nd link) who joined the Kurds earlier this month:

http://nepacrossroads.com/about35668.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/fighting-isis-canadian-israeli-gill-rosenberg-1st-foreign-woman-to-join-kurds-in-syria-1.2831123


Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Eagle Eye View on November 23, 2014, 12:03:48
Quote
“I don’t encourage Canadians to leave our nation and head to other nations to get involved with the militaries of that nation,” Lawson said.

Rather, he added, vets who want to help combat ISIS should re-enlist in the Canadian Forces.

Why would the CDS mention this? Our intervention is very limited.  Maybe we're about to get more involved?
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Fishbone Jones on November 23, 2014, 12:42:18
Quote
Lawson acknowledged that some veterans may enlist with the Kurds even without the consent of the Canadian military,

Hmm, yeah. Serving Veterans most assuredly. However, retired Veterans are no longer beholden to the CAF. Unless they legislate an extension of service, the CAF cannot say word one, let alone give\ withhold consent to someone wishing to join the Kurds.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: NavyShooter on November 23, 2014, 14:20:32
Someone on F-book sent me an invite to their facebook group. 

I politely declined to join.

Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: dapaterson on November 23, 2014, 14:37:27
Hmm, yeah. Serving Veterans most assuredly. However, retired Veterans are no longer beholden to the CAF. Unless they legislate an extension of service, the CAF cannot say word one, let alone give\ withhold consent to someone wishing to join the Kurds.
Depends.  Are they members of the Supp Res?  There may be (IANAL) ways to restrict Supp Res members from doing so.  There are also laws concerning terrorist groups - and the PKK are still, to my knowledge, classified as a terrorist group by Canada (although that's not a CAF issue to enforce).
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Cloud Cover on November 23, 2014, 15:36:48
Hmm, yeah. Serving Veterans most assuredly. However, retired Veterans are no longer beholden to the CAF. Unless they legislate an extension of service, the CAF cannot say word one, let alone give\ withhold consent to someone wishing to join the Kurds.

They can say a lot, starting with:  these Kurdish people, however sympathetic their cause, are not your true regimental brothers in arms and have you considered what happens when they bump into a unit of the CAF. All kinds of things can go wrong, and I highly doubt the Kurds or any of those groups are going to let one of their fighters refuse an order....

But you are right, the CAF cannot do a lot.  The regimental associations can.

That being said, Canada is eventually going to be forced to take a land warfare decision beyond the special forces role, which is either to send troops or send guns. My preference would be to send guns and volunteers aka something like they did in the early stages of the Boer war. I don't know how appealing that would be to anyone, and it would take an Act of Parliament to create and authorize such a force, just like 115 years ago.

Cheers 
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Old Sweat on November 23, 2014, 16:15:41
They can say a lot, starting with:  these Kurdish people, however sympathetic their cause, are not your true regimental brothers in arms and have you considered what happens when they bump into a unit of the CAF. All kinds of things can go wrong, and I highly doubt the Kurds or any of those groups are going to let one of their fighters refuse an order....

But you are right, the CAF cannot do a lot.  The regimental associations can.

That being said, Canada is eventually going to be forced to take a land warfare decision beyond the special forces role, which is either to send troops or send guns. My preference would be to send guns and volunteers aka something like they did in the early stages of the Boer war. I don't know how appealing that would be to anyone, and it would take an Act of Parliament to create and authorize such a force, just like 115 years ago.

Cheers

I'm not sure the Boer War example is germane - what we sent were formed units of the permanent force which on arrival were transferred to the British Army as there was some doubt that the Militia Act allowed overseas deployments. The British funded darn near everything except the recruiting and equipping costs and paid all the bills once the units disembarked. The one exception in the 1899-1900 period was Strathcona's Horse which was recruited as part of the British Army. A few Canadians who were already in South Africa were recruited by Canadian units there, by the way.

I agree with the rest of your assessment.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on November 23, 2014, 16:29:50
If ISIS can recruit Chechens and Foreign Fighters why can't we use a few hired guns of our own?

I don't have a problem with this and even if I did there isn't a whole lot that can be done about it anyways. 
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Cloud Cover on November 23, 2014, 16:40:28
I'm not sure the Boer War example is germane - what we sent were formed units of the permanent force which on arrival were transferred to the British Army as there was some doubt that the Militia Act allowed overseas deployments. The British funded darn near everything except the recruiting and equipping costs and paid all the bills once the units disembarked. The one exception in the 1899-1900 period was Strathcona's Horse which was recruited as part of the British Army. A few Canadians who were already in South Africa were recruited by Canadian units there, by the way.

I agree with the rest of your assessment.

Hi yes the Strats are what I was thinking of, although I mistakenly thought there was another mounted unit that formed up, privately funded in Canada, and went over there without any affiliation to Lords, Lady's and all the rest British army stuff. [called Canadian Mounted Rifles, or something to that effect, many of them deserted as they saw the Boers whupping the Brits time after time? Apologies as I did get that all wrong- The Great Karoo was indeed fiction!!!]   
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Cloud Cover on November 23, 2014, 16:42:41
If ISIS can recruit Chechens and Foreign Fighters why can't we use a few hired guns of our own?

I don't have a problem with this and even if I did there isn't a whole lot that can be done about it anyways.

You are right, we are back to the hired gun debate and I have to wonder if this is the perfect case for such a scenario.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Retired AF Guy on November 23, 2014, 16:51:03
They can say a lot, starting with:  these Kurdish people, however sympathetic their cause, are not your true regimental brothers in arms and have you considered what happens when they bump into a unit of the CAF.

Bump into what unit of the CAF? Apart from the CSOR people doing training we don't have any people on the ground and yes, its possible they could run into each other, but its unlikely to be in a confrontational way.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Cloud Cover on November 23, 2014, 17:01:26
Bump into what unit of the CAF? Apart from the CSOR people doing training we don't have any people on the ground and yes, its possible they could run into each other, but its unlikely to be in a confrontational way.

Mistakenly blown into a pink mist by the RCAF? Yes, CSOR and all the related smoke and banditry. 
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: George Wallace on November 23, 2014, 17:25:32
I'm not sure the Boer War example is germane - what we sent were formed units of the permanent force which on arrival were transferred to the British Army as there was some doubt that the Militia Act allowed overseas deployments. The British funded darn near everything except the recruiting and equipping costs and paid all the bills once the units disembarked. The one exception in the 1899-1900 period was Strathcona's Horse which was recruited as part of the British Army. A few Canadians who were already in South Africa were recruited by Canadian units there, by the way.

I agree with the rest of your assessment.

Hi yes the Strats are what I was thinking of, although I mistakenly thought there was another mounted unit that formed up, privately funded in Canada, and went over there without any affiliation to Lords, Lady's and all the rest British army stuff. [called Canadian Mounted Rifles, or something to that effect, many of them deserted as they saw the Boers whupping the Brits time after time? Apologies as I did get that all wrong- The Great Karoo was indeed fiction!!!]


The Canadian Mounted Rifles were raised in Canada.  The RCD went over to South Africa as Canadian Mounted Rifles and fought successfully to have their name changed to The Royal Canadian Dragoons.  Quite a few of The RCD contingent stayed on in South Africa to fight in the newly formed Transvaal police or with Howard's Scouts and subsequently in the Canadian Scouts after Major "Gat" Howard was killed.
"Gat" Howard was an American who was in Canada to sell Gatling Guns, and joined The RCD as a Lieutenant in charge of machine guns to go to South Africa. 
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on November 24, 2014, 09:23:14
Honestly, I don't see the difference between today's volunteer or any other foreign volunteer who joined say the Mac Pap's, or Eagle Sqn., or Cdn's who served in US forces in Viet Nam as these individuals felt it was a cause that was worthy in their eyes (and arguably were proved correct).  As long as they don't take up arms against Western troops, more power to them.  I agree in many ways with their motivations.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Old Sweat on November 24, 2014, 09:41:45

The Canadian Mounted Rifles were raised in Canada.  The RCD went over to South Africa as Canadian Mounted Rifles and fought successfully to have their name changed to The Royal Canadian Dragoons.  Quite a few of The RCD contingent stayed on in South Africa to fight in the newly formed Transvaal police or with Howard's Scouts and subsequently in the Canadian Scouts after Major "Gat" Howard was killed.
"Gat" Howard was an American who was in Canada to sell Gatling Guns, and joined The RCD as a Lieutenant in charge of machine guns to go to South Africa.
The Canadian Mounted Rifles saga is a little complicated. The second contingent which deployed in 1900 included the 1st and 2nd Battalions, Canadian Mounted Rifles. The 1st Battalion was formed around a cadre from the Royal Canadian Dragoons and, as George pointed out, was renamed RCD during its tour. The 2nd Battalion was based on the NWMP and was commanded by the commissioner. Both units were very effective, with the edge going to the RCD. The 2nd CMR had some organizational issues, including having the CO sent home as medically unfit and the original DCO, Major Sam Steele, being transferred to command the Strathconas before the unit embarked for South Africa.

In 1902 the 2nd Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles saw action in the closing months of the war, while four more regiments, 3rd through 6th, arrived after the war had ended.

Absolutely nothing to do with the current situation, but I thought I best clarify the Boer War issue.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on November 30, 2014, 18:55:20
Shared under the fair dealings provisions.  For her sake, I hope the reports are not true.
Quote
Gill Rosenberg, Canadian citizen, reportedly captured by ISIS in Syria
Canada 'pursuing all appropriate channels' to verify reports, is in touch with local authorities
The Associated Press Posted: Nov 30, 2014 1:33 PM ET|

The federal government is working to confirm reports that Gill Rosenberg, a Canadian citizen, has been captured by Islamist extremists in Syria.
According to the Jerusalem Post, websites "known to be close" to ISIS extremists reported the capture of the Israeli-Canadian woman, who joined Kurdish fighters overseas, on Sunday.

"Canada is pursuing all appropriate channels" to seek further information and is in touch with local authorities, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said on Sunday.  The newspaper said the websites give few details on the alleged capture, only that it occurred after three suicide attacks on sites where Kurdish fighters were holed up.

The reports have not been confirmed by Israeli officials.  "I cannot confirm that and I hope that it isn't true," Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon told an Israeli television channel when asked about the reports.

Rosenberg, 31, told Reuters that she was in Syria in November. A source linked to the YPG, the Kurds' dominant fighting force in northern Syria, said earlier this month that she was their first female foreign recruit and had crossed into Syria to fight Islamic State militants.

A Kurdish military commander heading the unit to which Rosenberg was attached told CBC News on Sunday that the reports were untrue.
"It's a lie. She's OK," said Zagros Cudi.

Clashes between ISIS and Kurdish troops have largely focused on the Syrian city of Kobani, near the Turkish border.  The now-notorious al-Qaeda splinter group is currently in control of large swaths of territory in both Syria and Iraq.  Messages of concern were posted Sunday on a Facebook profile belonging to a Gill Rosenberg. An earlier message asked for advice on joining the Kurdish army.

With files from CBC News and Reuters
© The Associated Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/gill-rosenberg-canadian-citizen-reportedly-captured-by-isis-in-syria-1.2855316
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on November 30, 2014, 18:57:39
She's unfortunately dead or soon to be.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on November 30, 2014, 19:45:20
She's unfortunately dead or soon to be.
:nod:
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: MCG on November 30, 2014, 21:34:32
A news article yesterday, which was recycling earlier concerns over Canadians joining Kurd fighters, concluded with a speculation of this very scenario coming to pass.
Quote
Canadian vets fighting ISIS spark warnings, concern
Desire to battle extremists poses problems

29 Nov 2014
BY LAURA LYNCH, CBC NEWS

They are driven to arrive on the front lines of a war that is not their own for a variety of reasons: frustration with what they call Canada’s inadequate military response, anger prompted by grisly beheading videos and stories of brutal treatment at the hands of ISIS.

For some of the Canadian military veterans who have volunteered to join the Kurdish battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, it is also about relieving boredom that has descended since their last battles in Afghanistan.

The volunteers will not be paid, so they are not mercenaries. But their decision to join up does present a host of potential problems — legal and practical — for Canada.

The idea has attracted a less-than-enthusiastic response from the chief of defence staff, Gen. Tom Lawson.

"I do not encourage Canadians to leave our nation and to head to other nations to get involved with the militaries" of those nations, Lawson said.

That echoes warnings made by the British government urging people not to go and join the fight themselves. It said they could face charges.

In a statement, the Home Office said: "Fighting in a foreign war is not automatically an offence, but will depend on the nature of the conflict and the individual’s own activities."

So far, Canada has only issued a general travel warning, advising people not to go to the region for any reason.

But a professor of international law at the University of British Columbia, Michael Byers, said the presence of Canadian veterans fighting with Kurdish groups poses possible complications.

“There are two issues here: whether they can go and the second issue is how they behave when they get there,” said Byers, author of War Law, a book on the laws of war.

Travelling to the region is perfectly legal, said Byers. It gets more problematic when the volunteers go into battle.

Kurdish forces have been accused of violating international law. On more than one occasion, they have presented prisoners to journalists to be interviewed on camera. That is a violation of the Geneva Convention.

​A Dutch news team also reported that Kurdish troops had executed prisoners, also a violation of international law. A Kurdish commander denied the claim.

One Canadian veteran of the Afghanistan war who is preparing to go and fight with Kurdish forces said he would have to report any such violations if he witnessed them. Still, it was not clear to whom he would report.

"You know, you cannot be going around like a cowboy shooting everything," said the veteran who did not want to be identified. "You have got to be responsible, professional and follow the guidelines — the laws of war."

His concern reinforces the problem highlighted by Byers.

“Anyone who goes over there to fight should be aware that they are subject to Canadian and international jurisdiction with regard to the laws of war.”

There is another issue: one of the Kurdish fighting forces, called the Kurdish People’s Protection Units or YPG, is linked to the Turkish-based Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the PKK.

It is considered a terrorist organization by the Canadian government, raising the possibility that Canadians could end up violating anti-terrorism laws.

Lawson had one more warning for Canadians who seem to eager to sign up.  “Be very careful. You are swimming with the sharks and there is no safety net.”

There are additional concerns about how the volunteers' presence could complicate Canada’s official military operations. If a Canadian gets into trouble, is captured or injured, would Canada be obligated to stage a rescue mission?
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canadian-vets-fighting-isis-spark-warnings-concern-1.2849475
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Hamish Seggie on November 30, 2014, 23:30:05
She's unfortunately dead or soon to be.

 And that's sad. In my vengeful mind, these animals need to be hunted down and.......

Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Thucydides on November 30, 2014, 23:45:28
I think the motivations and organization of this "1rst North American Expeditionary Force" is rather different from the Special Service Force of the Boer War or the "Mac-Paps" from the Spanish Civil War, so drawing analogies are going to be difficult, if not downright inaccurate.

The primary issue here is these are individuals who are motivated to go by personal reasons, and who are essentially joining as individual foreign mercenaries augmenting a tribal force. Perhaps the most realistic historical analogy might be adventurers going to Ethiopia in the 1930's to fight the Italians (but even that isn't quite right, since there was an "Imperial" government of sorts in charge of Ethiopia at the time).

I suspect the people going over to assist will be horribly disillusioned by the end of their ordeal, as they will not have much in the way of manpower and resources to add to the cause, and I imagine many bureaucratic obstacles will spring up in their path both going over and returning home. If the "Expeditionary Force" could muster battalion sized groups of volunteers (500+) with adequate logistical support (including medical services), then they probably *could* make a noticeable difference, but this also presupposes that the Kurds would be open to what amounts to a foreign military force operating on their territory.

Still, their hearts are in the right place, and for what it is worth I wish them well.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on December 01, 2014, 19:31:12
Now there's unconfirmed reports of FB posts from Gill Rosenburg saying she's safe and well.  I do hope so.

Quote

Gill Rosenberg, Canadian reportedly seized by ISIS, appears to be safe
'Guys, I'm totally safe and secure,' Facebook update says

CBC News Posted: Nov 30, 2014 1:33 PM ET| Last Updated: Dec 01, 2014 5:40 PM ET
 
A Facebook user claiming to be Canadian citizen Gill Rosenberg, who was allegedly seized by Islamist extremists, has posted an update saying she is safe and to ignore reports that she was captured.​  "Guys, I'm totally safe and secure. I don't have internet access or any communication devices with me for my safety and security," says the status update.  CBC News has not yet been able to independently confirm that Rosenberg did post the updated message. But sources tell CBC News that Rosenberg also communicated in private today to a friend and that the update to her Facebook account appears to be authentic.

The Facebook update says that she can't reply regularly and she only happened to have a chance to log in and see the news stories about her.
"Ignore the reports I've been captured," the post says.  Another Facebook post followed, saying that: "On behalf of Gill Rosenberg, please be advised that she is safe and sound. DO NOT listen to the reports for the past few days about kidnapping. I will update you again when I hear from her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers!! Thank you."

Rosenberg, 31, told Reuters in November that she was in Syria. A source linked to the YPG, the Kurds' dominant fighting force in northern Syria, said earlier this month that she was their first female foreign recruit and had crossed into Syria to fight Islamic State militants.  According to the Jerusalem Post, websites "known to be close" to ISIS extremists reported on Sunday the capture of the Israeli-Canadian woman, who joined Kurdish fighters overseas.  But a Kurdish military commander heading the unit to which Rosenberg was attached told CBC News on Sunday that the reports were untrue."It's a lie. She's OK," said Zagros Cudi.

Government working to clear up reports

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the federal government was working to determine the veracity of conflicting reports about  Rosenberg.  "Our teams are obviously working to try to tackle the competing versions of what happened," Baird told CBC's Carole MacNeil. "But it is obviously a deep concern for us."


Asked whether he would take the word of the Kurdish commander, Baird said "obviously we have great regard for the Kurdish Peshmerga. We have competing claims. We haven't been able to validate those claims."  CBC's Middle East correspondent Sasa Petricic tweeted Monday morning that according to someone described as her friend, Rosenberg is "safe" and not being held by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria extremists. Official Israeli and Canadian sources, however, haven't been able to confirm the report.

"Overnight, we've been seeing a number of messages from her friends posted on her Facebook page saying, no, they heard she is safe, everything is fine, but she can't communicate, because she is in an isolated area," Petricic reported.  The Jerusalem Post said the websites give few details on the alleged capture, only that it occurred after three suicide attacks on sites where Kurdish fighters were holed up.

"She's originally from White Rock, British Columbia," CBC's Briar Stewart reported from London today. "She went to the British Columbia Institute of Technology, where she studied aviation.

Immigrated to Israel


"In 2006 she immigrated to Israel, where she later worked as a pilot with the army search and rescue unit.  "In 2009 … she was extradited to the United States, where she served time in prison for her part of an international phone scam. Now, after serving her time — it was just more than three years — she then went back to the Middle East, and obviously this fall she travelled … to Iraq to train with Kurdish fighters."

Clashes between ISIS and Kurdish troops have largely focused on the Syrian city of Kobani, near the Turkish border.  The notorious al-Qaeda splinter group is currently in control of large swaths of territory in both Syria and Iraq.

 With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/gill-rosenberg-canadian-reportedly-seized-by-isis-appears-to-be-safe-1.2855316
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Thucydides on December 01, 2014, 22:35:41
It occurs to me that this activity is even more futile than I had initially thought. For whatever reason it didn't occur to me until now that while the newspaper reports something like a half dozen known Canadians are preparing to go to fight ISIS, CSIS and the RCMP is actively monitoring over 80 Canadians who want to go over and fight *with* ISIS.

Even giving a wide margin for people who were not identified by reporters, there is still a huge disparity in numbers between those who support barbarism and those who wish to oppose it.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Furniture on December 01, 2014, 23:05:11
It occurs to me that this activity is even more futile than I had initially thought. For whatever reason it didn't occur to me until now that while the newspaper reports something like a half dozen known Canadians are preparing to go to fight ISIS, CSIS and the RCMP is actively monitoring over 80 Canadians who want to go over and fight *with* ISIS.

Even giving a wide margin for people who were not identified by reporters, there is still a huge disparity in numbers between those who support barbarism and those who wish to oppose it.

I'd say there are tens of thousands of people in Canada who oppose barbarism quite actively... Most just choose to do so in uniform.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Thucydides on December 01, 2014, 23:25:08
I'd say there are tens of thousands of people in Canada who oppose barbarism quite actively... Most just choose to do so in uniform.

Quite. I should be clear I was talking about people who are taking steps on their own, rather than the institutions who stand between the public and barbarians.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: PMedMoe on December 02, 2014, 09:41:11
Now there's unconfirmed reports of FB posts from Gill Rosenburg saying she's safe and well.  I do hope so.

And now there's reports that the reported abdustion was false:

Report of abduction of Israeli-Canadian soldier may be false: government source
 (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/stay-syria-iraq-ottawa-warns-amid-conflicting-reports-193553182.html)

The federal government is now working on the assumption that the reported abduction of an Israeli-Canadian woman by Islamic militants may in fact be false, The Canadian Press has learned.

A government official who was not authorized to speak on the record about the matter offered that assessment Monday as two federal cabinet ministers urged Canadians to avoid following in the footsteps of Gill Rosenberg, who joined Kurdish fighters overseas.

The government has not been able to confirm that Rosenberg is free and OK, but several unconfirmed social media reports suggest that is the case.

More at link
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on December 02, 2014, 09:55:41
.... A government official who was not authorized to speak on the record about the matter offered that assessment Monday as two federal cabinet ministers urged Canadians to avoid following in the footsteps of Gill Rosenberg, who joined Kurdish fighters overseas ....
Quite the message migration from this (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/government-military-send-mixed-messages-on-canadians-joining-kurds-in-isis-fight-1.2846120) ....
Quote
.... Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney told CBC News that the government “would not oppose a citizen who is willing to engage in a battle for liberty and helping the victims of barbaric crimes,” alluding to several well-documented massacres of civilians by ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria ....
.... to this (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/stay-syria-iraq-ottawa-warns-amid-conflicting-reports-193553182.html):
Quote
.... "The best way to fight terrorism is to support our national law enforcement or national security agencies," said Blaney.  "It is important to follow the consular advice and avoid engaging in combat activity abroad without the scope of our national Canadian Armed Forces or national security agency." ....

Meanwhile, from one of the participants (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/12/02/former-canadian-soldier-says-first-battle-against-isis-was-greatest-day-of-his-life/) ....
Quote
In his first battle serving on the front lines against ISIS, Dillon Hillier engaged the enemy in a firefight, helped liberate a town, and may have saved a fellow fighter’s life. It was, he said after, the greatest day of his life.

Mr. Hillier, formerly a corporal in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, is a volunteer with the 1st North American Expeditionary Force, a private organization that is providing aid to anyone who wants to help the Kurds in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.

In the Nov. 26 battle, shortly after he arrived in in northern Iraq, Mr. Hillier had one main objective when he reached the town of Tel al-Ward: To take the hill.

Inside the bunkers at the top of the hill were ISIS militants, said Mr. Hillier, who was with the Kurdish Peshmerga.

Describing his role in the fight, Mr. Hillier said, “I manoeuvred the ground, and engaged the enemy as I was trained to do.” ....
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Jarnhamar on December 02, 2014, 19:23:24
I really want to like these guys but I'm getting weird feelings about them.

The name bugs me.  I'm not sure 3 (?) citizens heading over to Iraq can be considered an expeditionary force. These guys aren't a force at all, they're a middle man trying to put people in touch with contacts over there (which don't get me wrong, I think is awesome and fully applaud and support).

Their facebook posts feel like they're trying to act the part just a bit too hard.  Having an open facebook page for people to debate on is all kinds of bad news and in my opinion hurts their legitimacy.
Title: Ex-Canadian Solider fights along side Kurdish in Iraq
Post by: BorisK on December 03, 2014, 17:29:41
Might not be new to some, but I saw this on my facebook feed just now.  I am usually not a fan of Vice's reporting, but this seems to stick to the facts for the most part. 

Reproduced under the fair dealings provisions of the copyright act :

https://news.vice.com/article/ex-canadian-soldier-fires-assault-rifle-at-islamic-state-in-video?utm_source=vicenewsfb
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: MCG on December 07, 2014, 03:38:43
I have read that "1 NAEF" has sent two more fighter this weekend.  I wonder if this Cpl Hillier will become seen as most valuable as a recruiting tool, and therefore kept in safe jobs more than he might have hoped.

Quote
Canadian veteran who joined fight against ISIS struggled to adapt to civilian life after tour in Afghanistan
Campbell MacDiarmid
National Post
07 Dec 2014

IRAQI KURDISTAN — A sign on the café’s glass door says 18+, although no alcohol is served. Inside groups of men huddle around tables and the smoke hangs low, despite the high ceilings.

In a corner, Dillon Hillier sits smoking a shisha with two Kurds, currently absorbed in their phones. The water pipe bubbles and the coals glow as he draws on the hose. He sits back, exhaling a cloud of apple-flavoured tobacco smoke before passing the pipe. “So you got questions?” he asks.

The 26-year-old Canadian veteran travelled to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq last month to join the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). Now he has been pulled back to rest after his first engagement with the enemy, a battle the spokesman for the Peshmerga — the Kurdish fighters taking on ISIS — describes as important and strategic.

His close-cropped hair and the tattoo on his left forearm — the acronym for his former unit, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry — show his pedigree as a soldier. He speaks with conviction and candour, but he isn’t afraid to pause while considering a question.

...

The former corporal says his five years in the Canadian army, which included a short tour in Afghanistan around Kabul in 2013, disillusioned him. Afghanistan wasn’t a worthwhile cause — an occupation, a civil war, bad people on both sides. Not a lot of support from the local people.

A lot of veterans feel the same, he says.

Back home, working in Alberta, he struggled to adapt to civilian life. A job in construction bored him. “I was tired of just chasing dollars.”

When Kurdistan came up on his radar in June, it seemed like a cause he could get behind — with much less of the moral ambiguity inherent in many 21st-century conflicts. A clear case of good versus evil, he says.

He’s read For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway’s tale of international volunteers in the Spanish Civil War. This seemed like a similarly worthy cause.

And the Kurds were ready to accept his help.

...
Given that he has made himself the Canadian face of civilian foreign fighters, it would not help their recruiting here if he died before a critical mass of Canadians had the opportunity to join him.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Altair on December 07, 2014, 05:38:45
The best way to fight Daesh is to join the Canadian forces? Air force,  yes,  maybe.

But what good is joining the army going to do? Firing rounds in wainwright and petawawa doesn't look that appealing for those wanting to help the Kurds or those wanting to get at Daesh. I liked Lawson,  but then he had to open his mouth and remove all doubt on that one.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on December 07, 2014, 06:38:53
He is just towing the party line , did you honestly expect him to publicly say anything different?
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on December 07, 2014, 09:54:09
I have read that "1 NAEF" has sent two more fighter this weekend ....
More on that here (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/12/06/three-more-canadian-volunteers-were-set-to-fly-to-middle-east-in-fight-against-isis/):
Quote
Three more Canadian volunteers were to leave for the Middle East this weekend to participate in the fight against ISIS, according to two sources familiar with their plans.

According to one of the sources, only one of the men is ex-military. They met in Toronto on Friday and intended to depart over the weekend for the region controlled by Kurdish forces.

The development comes as the federal government is struggling to discourage Canadians from fighting alongside Kurdish armed groups battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham ....

Given that he has made himself the Canadian face of civilian foreign fighters, it would not help their recruiting here if he died before a critical mass of Canadians had the opportunity to join him.
Or if he gets wounded, and they have to fundraise (crowdsourcing, anyone?) to bring him back to decent medical care.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: tomahawk6 on December 07, 2014, 11:00:27
More like the Legion of Frontiersmen.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Jarnhamar on December 07, 2014, 15:26:27
I can only imagine they're getting a lot of donations, I wonder what they have in place if anything to help return wounded members or bodies.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Altair on December 08, 2014, 23:26:58
He is just towing the party line , did you honestly expect him to publicly say anything different?
If he had said don't join the kurds and left it at that I would have had no issue. But to tack on join the Canadian forces to fight Daesh knowing full well that the army isn't going anywhere reeks of dishonesty.

Just my 2 cents
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on December 09, 2014, 05:45:06
If he had said don't join the kurds and left it at that I would have had no issue. But to tack on join the Canadian forces to fight Daesh knowing full well that the army isn't going anywhere reeks of dishonesty.

Just my 2 cents

The Army is doing their bit by training the Kurds with CSOR.  The RCAF is doing their bit with the air campaign.  There is no dishonesty in his comments. 

You're just unhappy that you're not hearing what you want to hear with the tempo of operations in theatre and that is not his call, it's the government's.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Colin P on December 09, 2014, 13:20:39
and to be fair joining the army now means it's unlikely to be involved in this fight directly. The CSOR guys likely all have 10+ years under their belt, a select few pilots get to the pointy end of the stick, but supported by a large group to arm, fuel, direct and maintain the aircraft. So if someone wanted to fight them directly, joining the Canadian Forces is a unlikely way to do so and with little or no say where you go. The current tactical situation is going to be decided in the next few years if not sooner. So joining the Kurds is a very quick way into the fight, but likely they need people that bring unique skillsets they lack as opposed to untrained foot solider. 
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on December 09, 2014, 15:30:14
and to be fair joining the army now means it's unlikely to be involved in this fight directly. The CSOR guys likely all have 10+ years under their belt, a select few pilots get to the pointy end of the stick, but supported by a large group to arm, fuel, direct and maintain the aircraft. So if someone wanted to fight them directly, joining the Canadian Forces is a unlikely way to do so and with little or no say where you go. The current tactical situation is going to be decided in the next few years if not sooner. So joining the Kurds is a very quick way into the fight, but likely they need people that bring unique skillsets they lack as opposed to untrained foot solider.

All parties involved have no trouble filling their ranks with people willing to fight; however, fighting and fighting well are too very different things.  Fighting well isn't something any of the regional parties involved are well known for. 

The Kurds should do what the Croats did in 1995 and pay a company like MPRI to come in and "advise" them.  After all it worked for the Croatian Army and allowed them to retake the Krajina region during Operation Storm.
Title: Canadian Dillon Hillier fights ISIL (merged)
Post by: newshooter on December 15, 2014, 17:25:06
I'm new to this forum. I'm from Calgary and I'm spreading the word for 1NAEF and Dillon Hillier.

Our friend Dillon is asking us to crowd-fund for night vision goggles.  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/night-vision-goggles-for-dillon-hillier (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/night-vision-goggles-for-dillon-hillier)

Follow the link and read his story. Cheers.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: George Wallace on December 15, 2014, 19:10:39
I'm new to this forum. I'm from Calgary and I'm spreading the word for 1NAEF and Dillon Hillier.

Our friend Dillon is asking us to crowd-fund for night vision goggles.  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/night-vision-goggles-for-dillon-hillier (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/night-vision-goggles-for-dillon-hillier)

Follow the link and read his story. Cheers.

Hate to say it, but this does not say much for 1NAEF.  Fine.  Dillon Hillier went off to fight ISIL, as did a few others.  Question is: "Who funded their travel, outfitting with kit, and wages?  1NAEF?  Or was it all out of their own pockets?  What is the popular sentiment towards donating money to an organization like 1NAEF that probably has no status as such in the eyes of CRA?  Should 1NAEF not be the ones responsible for kitting these individuals, not someone asking for donations on the internet?  Next question will come some time in the near future as to whom will be covering the medical bills for any individuals injured or even killed while off on this enterprise?  Does 1NAEF have any form of insurance policy to cover casualties among those they send off to foreign lands?  These people will not be covered by the Canadian Government as they will not qualify under legislation that would have Veterans Affairs take care of them. 

Sorry, but to put it bluntly; the optics of this is really BAD.

Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Jarnhamar on December 15, 2014, 19:28:16
Still a 1-man expeditionary force?

naef's facebook says they are recieving all kinds of donations, how come they aren't providing their guy NVGs?   I've noticed they are quite fast at deleting questions on their FB page.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Remius on December 15, 2014, 19:31:34
Have to agree with George.  Where will it end?  Boots? Weapons? paid vacation? I'm leery about a crowd funding endeavour that directly funds and equips fighters and armed conflict that are not our own troops.  I donate to charities involving our own men and women in uniform.

While I wish mr hillier all the best in his chosen path, one that I support in principle but cannot support with funds. 
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: George Wallace on December 15, 2014, 20:48:03
Still a 1-man expeditionary force?

naef's facebook says they are recieving all kinds of donations, how come they aren't providing their guy NVGs?   I've noticed they are quite fast at deleting questions on their FB page.

You do know how bad that sounds:

1 man actually in country fighting.

1NAEF just a front for a possible scam artist.

That is my initial suspicions from your statement. 
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Brasidas on December 15, 2014, 21:05:25
You do know how bad that sounds:

1 man actually in country fighting.

1NAEF just a front for a possible scam artist.

That is my initial suspicions from your statement.

Preface:
I neither support nor have any firsthand knowledge of what these guys are up to.

My understanding is that this "organization" is hashing together international airfare and an address book for folks to hook up with the peshmerga. I doubt they even manage most of the former. These guys'll find themselves with some local qm for a unit of irregulars for whatever gear they either didn't bring or got stolen from them between A and B.

I doubt that it's an effective way to help anybody, but it doesn't scream "scam" to me.

I wish this guy the best, but I won't put cash in his kickstarter.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: George Wallace on December 15, 2014, 21:12:56
Well......When I read or hear things like this:

Quote
I've noticed they are quite fast at deleting questions on their FB page.

I begin to think that things are not completely on the up and up. 

But that could be only me.

 :-\
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Jarnhamar on December 15, 2014, 22:45:02
The group NAEF may be legitimate but that doesn't mean it's not a perfect set up for tons of scams to use them to take advantage of people.

Nathan Cirillo's body wasn't even cold before scam artists started making fake fund-raising accounts "for his family".

Not that they will however practically speaking NAEF is in a great position to take advantage of a hell of a lot of soldiers, ex-soldiers and citizens.  People on facebook are begging them to take their money and these people have no idea who NAEF is besides a facebook page.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Target Up on December 15, 2014, 23:30:27
How does one become a "former veteran"?
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: George Wallace on December 16, 2014, 00:55:50
How does one become a "former veteran"?

If you are referring to my post; they don't.  I am talking about Veterans Affairs taking care of Veterans who have been in the Canadian Armed Forces and any injuries they may have incurred in the Service of Canada; NOT anyone who as a civilian or former member of the CAF (Veteran) who has embarked on an "adventure" to fight in the service of a foreign power.  They may be a "veteran" still, but Veterans Affairs Canada has no responsibility to care for anyone who while in the service of another nation or government becomes injured or incapacitated while doing so, even if they are Canadians and may have once served in the CAF.

I could use the example of Canadians who have left to serve in the FFL, some of whom were former members of the CAF.  Veterans Affairs has no responsibility to give them coverage or aid for any injuries suffered while in the FFL.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: MCG on December 16, 2014, 01:18:27
It is the thread title. "Former Veteran"

Once you are a veteran, I think the only way to earn the qualifier "former" would be by dying.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Target Up on December 16, 2014, 02:04:53
It is the thread title. "Former Veteran"

Once you are a veteran, I think the only way to earn the qualifier "former" would be by dying.

There ya go, hoofbeats = horses most of the time.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: MCG on December 16, 2014, 02:58:51
... except when it's coconuts. 
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: TCBF on December 16, 2014, 03:13:35
African or European coconuts?

 8)
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: milnews.ca on December 16, 2014, 08:48:53
African or European coconuts?

 8)
Which is easier to get an End User Certificate for?
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Hamish Seggie on December 16, 2014, 09:05:28
African or European coconuts?

 8)

It was swallows, not coconuts.....sheesh... :facepalm:
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Sigs Pig on December 16, 2014, 10:09:29
From About The 1st (http://www.1naef.com/pages/about-us)
"...the 1st NAEF has no specific national association"
But he wears two flags...

ME
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: blackberet17 on December 16, 2014, 10:45:51
Wow that looks wrong...
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Colin P on December 16, 2014, 14:07:41
I can imagine the FB for the McKenzie-Pappion Brigade would start out like this if the had FB in the 1930's
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Remius on December 16, 2014, 14:26:04
From About The 1st (http://www.1naef.com/pages/about-us)
"...the 1st NAEF has no specific national association"
But he wears two flags...

ME

That looks like it could open up a whole can of worms...

Although I doubt anything prevents that from being worn.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Colin P on December 16, 2014, 14:47:40
If I was them I be buying a whole whack of Chinese Optics, you can give a bunch of guys optics for the price of one North American built(branded at least) one. Plus the Chinese don't GAS about end use certificates.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 16, 2014, 17:27:07
I can imagine the FB for the McKenzie-Pappion Brigade would start out like this if the had FB in the 1930's


Let no nit ever go unpicked ...  ;)

It was the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, named for:

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fa4.files.saymedia-content.com%2Fimage%2Fupload%2Fc_fill%2Cg_face%2Ch_300%2Cq_70%2Cw_300%2FMTIwNjA4NjMzODkzNTIwOTA4.jpg&hash=0d9d9ec3d65c4e2c52aafaa8aa40a474) and (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-xdVhqQQ157s%2FUOkUOngIdoI%2FAAAAAAAAERM%2FlX_ujxHqU8o%2Fs1600%2Fpapineau-louis-joseph-809.jpg&hash=963be782df11a02d65378e749909d8f1)

Cheers!  :subbies:
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Colin P on December 16, 2014, 17:33:15
I remember to call you when my daughters get another head lice infestation  ;D (This is where I learned the true meaning of nit-picking)

thanks for the correction
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Dimsum on December 16, 2014, 18:12:56
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-xdVhqQQ157s%2FUOkUOngIdoI%2FAAAAAAAAERM%2FlX_ujxHqU8o%2Fs1600%2Fpapineau-louis-joseph-809.jpg&hash=963be782df11a02d65378e749909d8f1)

Rockin' the faux-hawk before it became cool.   >:D
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Schindler's Lift on December 16, 2014, 21:03:40
Rockin' the faux-hawk before it became cool.   >:D

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-xdVhqQQ157s%2FUOkUOngIdoI%2FAAAAAAAAERM%2FlX_ujxHqU8o%2Fs1600%2Fpapineau-louis-joseph-809.jpg&hash=963be782df11a02d65378e749909d8f1)(https://caprik.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/grimley.gif)
                 Ed Grimley's great grand dad don'tcha know.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: blackberet17 on December 18, 2014, 13:47:51
 :rofl:
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Cloud Cover on December 18, 2014, 20:34:20
that dude needs to remove the Canada flag patch. I don't give a rat frig if his Daddy's an MP, or if he is former CF, he is not over there representing this country or his citizenship, he is simply over there for his own idealism. That  flag patch worn on a combat uniform is symbolism of the Canadian Forces that are currently serving their country, and not for those serving their own ego. If he wants to wear a patch, the most historically appropriate is the skull and cross bones, for he is in it for himself and perhaps for the thrill (I doubt there is much rum, booty or treasure over there).
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Altair on December 19, 2014, 00:04:04
that dude needs to remove the Canada flag patch. I don't give a rat frig if his Daddy's an MP, or if he is former CF, he is not over there representing this country or his citizenship, he is simply over there for his own idealism. That  flag patch worn on a combat uniform is symbolism of the Canadian Forces that are currently serving their country, and not for those serving their own ego. If he wants to wear a patch, the most historically appropriate is the skull and cross bones, for he is in it for himself and perhaps for the thrill (I doubt there is much rum, booty or treasure over there).
He should keep that flag and wear it with pride,  seeing as how he's over there putting his life on the line fighting against a group of scumbags. Which is more than 99 percent of the Canadian Armed Forces can say.  At least he's doing something.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Jarnhamar on December 19, 2014, 01:40:31
He should keep that flag and wear it with pride,  seeing as how he's over there putting his life on the line fighting against a group of scumbags. Which is more than 99 percent of the Canadian Armed Forces can say.  At least he's doing something.

Hey ***** quite a few members of this forum,  let alone the forces,  have put their time in "fighting scumbags".   There is even a list of forum members who didn't come home.  Why don't you simmer down.  Better yet why don't you hop on a plane and go yourself.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Altair on December 19, 2014, 03:26:19
Hey dip crap quite a few members of this forum,  let alone the forces,  have put their time in "fighting scumbags".   There is even a list of forum members who didn't come home.  Why don't you simmer down.  Better yet why don't you hop on a plane and go yourself.
My comment is directed at the current situation in the CAF,  not years past.  I have great respect is for those who went over to Afghanistan and the many who didn't return. But currently 99 percent of the CAF sits around in Canada, not over in Iraq or Syria fighting a group who beheads journalists,  aid workers,  kurds and anyone who doesn't subscribe to their twisted form of Islam.

Hiller is fighting this current group of scum,  as he fought the last group,  which is better than what 99 percent of CURRENT military  members are doing(for free I might add).   In my opinion he can wear whatever damn flag he wants as long as he's shooting at the zehaf-bibeaus of the world. It's not like the Canadian army is going to.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: milnews.ca on December 19, 2014, 10:49:31
.... 99 percent of the CAF sits around in Canada, not over in Iraq or Syria fighting a group who beheads journalists,  aid workers,  kurds and anyone who doesn't subscribe to their twisted form of Islam.  Hiller is fighting this current group of scum,  as he fought the last group,  which is better than what 99 percent of CURRENT military members are doing (for free I might add).   In my opinion he can wear whatever damn flag he wants as long as he's shooting at the zehaf-bibeaus of the world. It's not like the Canadian army is going to.
1)  According to what I hear, "Canada" is helping in the fight (http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/operations-abroad-current/op-impact.page).
2)  Assuming you're in the CF (based on your previous posts), if you're that unhappy being in a military that's not meeting your expectations, or if you're unhappy working in a military that ultimately takes its instructions from civilian elected officials, ever consider other options?
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Brasidas on December 19, 2014, 11:04:38
There is a difference between a backpacker in europe sewing a maple leaf flag on their gear, and fighting while wearing the national colours. You only get to do the latter while fighting on behalf of the national government.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Colin P on December 19, 2014, 11:27:45
He is a Canadian Citizen choosing to fight scumbags on his own time who have threatened Canada with physical harm and as I recall a Veteran who served in the sandbox as well. As far as I am concerned he has earned the right to wear it and if happens that he kills some of those scumbags while wearing it, all the better. It's a free country more or less. People joining up foreign militaries or organizations to fight bad guys without official sanction is a long tradition.   
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Fishbone Jones on December 19, 2014, 11:34:16
It's probably the only IR marker he has. Anything to help.

It's not the wearing of it, but the comments of a wet behind the ears poster, that I took offence to.
Title: Re: 1NAEF
Post by: phubardragoon on December 19, 2014, 13:53:13
1st North American Expeditionary Force
A non profit organization under CRA 912409-8

What they are : a group of veterans
What they do: They are setting up processes, international connections  and whatever support they can  for those veterans, volunteering , paying their own way and  "Planning to go and fight ISIS anyway" without knowing how to go about it in the safest way.
THE goal reduce the risk to these brave veterans in whatever way possible and provide support to them as much as possible.
They deter and security screen for "adventurists" for  lack of a more descriptive word.  Those with out the proper skill set. 

Please do your research ..reach out to them. They will respond. within OPSEC  and PERSEC  boundaries. 

Or Ask me..I will answer you.

PhubarDragoon

Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: jollyjacktar on December 19, 2014, 14:06:17
He is a Canadian Citizen choosing to fight scumbags on his own time who have threatened Canada with physical harm and as I recall a Veteran who served in the sandbox as well. As far as I am concerned he has earned the right to wear it and if happens that he kills some of those scumbags while wearing it, all the better. It's a free country more or less. People joining up foreign militaries or organizations to fight bad guys without official sanction is a long tradition.

Quite so.  Hear hear.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Jarnhamar on December 19, 2014, 14:29:17
It's not like the Canadian army is going to.

So quit the CF and go fight ISIS as a civilian.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: George Wallace on December 19, 2014, 14:33:09
It's not like the Canadian army is going to.

I wonder if Canadians in the 1930's said the same thing, when they sailed off to Spain to fight; only to find Canada declare war a few years later.

Do you actually have insight into what the Canadian Government has planned?
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Hamish Seggie on December 19, 2014, 15:29:06
My comment is directed at the current situation in the CAF,  not years past.  I have great respect is for those who went over to Afghanistan and the many who didn't return. But currently 99 percent of the CAF sits around in Canada, not over in Iraq or Syria fighting a group who beheads journalists,  aid workers,  kurds and anyone who doesn't subscribe to their twisted form of Islam.

Hiller is fighting this current group of scum,  as he fought the last group,  which is better than what 99 percent of CURRENT military  members are doing(for free I might add).   In my opinion he can wear whatever damn flag he wants as long as he's shooting at the zehaf-bibeaus of the world. It's not like the Canadian army is going to.
The CAF goes and does what it is told to do by the Government of Canada. The CAF does not pick and choose where they want to go and do.

You may wish to retract your inane comment.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Colin P on December 19, 2014, 15:32:06
I wonder if Canadians in the 1930's said the same thing, when they sailed off to Spain to fight; only to find Canada declare war a few years later.

Do you actually have insight into what the Canadian Government has planned?

The Canadian government regardless of the party sitting in the hotseat likely has a crystal ball that at best looks in detail for about 30 days and vaguely out to the next election.
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Cloud Cover on December 19, 2014, 18:47:23
If he/they is a/are former member of the armed forces, veteran or not, he is not representing this country at the present time and it is as simple as that. Perhaps he is representing the sentiments of some of his countrymen, who knows, but there is a wide difference.

Who is going pay for the PTSD, wound care and all the rest for these guys when they come home all ****ed up? Really, is this the only useful thing these guys could be doing right now. The ground and bomber crews of the RCAF, and some special forces folks [forgive me if I do not mention the rest] are currently wearing the patch and doing the job of killing off ISIL in manner that is commensurate with what Canada needs to be doing given our status as a small and diminishing power.   

Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: milnews.ca on December 19, 2014, 19:04:09
Who is going pay for the PTSD, wound care and all the rest for these guys when they come home all ****ed up?
:nod:
Title: Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
Post by: Fishbone Jones on December 19, 2014, 19:17:35
Let's lighten up. He's wearing a Canadian flag, big deal. Only a moron would look at his non Canadian uniform and think he was there as a CAF soldier, sent by the government. Flag or no.

If someone doesn't like it, don't support it.

That doesn't mean anyone else can't..........or have their own opinion on it.

However, let's not run the guy down because he identifies as a Canadian and wears an IR patch that looks like the flag.

That "patch" is no longer the exclusive property of the Gov't of Canada and the CAF. It can be purchased online from any number of vendors. Just Google Canadian Flag IR patch. So a hippy travelling Europe with one is going to be identified as a CAF soldier?

As to health care, etc, who pays for all the wingnuts that are ****ed up because of drugs and have never set foot out of their city?

It's the same answer.

Someone needs a session of square breathing or a bottle of scotch.

We're moving on. This portion of the discussion is not part of this threads purpose. The sidetracks end here.

---Staff---

Title: Re: 1NAEF
Post by: Jarnhamar on December 19, 2014, 20:57:00
1st North American Expeditionary Force
A non profit organization under CRA 912409-8

What they are : a group of veterans
What they do: They are setting up processes, international connections  and whatever support they can  for those veterans, volunteering , paying their own way and  "Planning to go and fight ISIS anyway" without knowing how to go about it in the safest way.
THE goal reduce the risk to these brave veterans in whatever way possible and provide support to them as much as possible.
They deter and security screen for "adventurists" for  lack of a more descriptive word.  Those with out the proper skill set. 

Please do your research ..reach out to them. They will respond. within OPSEC  and PERSEC  boundaries. 

Or Ask me..I will answer you.

PhubarDragoon

Hi PhubarDragoon,

What does 1NAEF do with the donations they received from Canadians?  Have they contributed any money to the mentioned Night Vision fund raiser?
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on January 05, 2015, 11:17:31
More (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/foreigners-fighting-islamic-state-syria-why-051028667--nfl.html) about the foreigners fighting ISIL, including Canadians:
Quote
While illegally crossing the Iraqi-Syrian border, Canadian Peter Douglas was adamant that his incursion was for humanitarian reasons - to help the people of Syria.

Douglas is one of a growing band of foreigners to dodge authorities and join the fight against Islamic State militants who have killed thousands and taken vast parts of Iraq and Syria, declaring a caliphate in territory under their control.

Many of these fighters argue they are there for humanitarian reasons but they say their decision to take up arms to fight for the Syrian people will not be viewed as such by some.

"I want to fight the Islamic State, although it might be the last thing I do," said Douglas, 66, from Vancouver, as he prepared to board a boat crossing a remote stretch of the Tigris River .

"I know I have 10 years to live before I will start develop dementia or have a stroke so I wanted to do something good," he added, although he acknowledged that taking up arms was new on the list of jobs and occupations he has previously pursued.

So far an estimated few dozen Westerners have joined Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State in northern Syria, including Americans, Canadians, Germans, and Britons.

The Syrian Kurdish armed faction known as the YPG has not released official numbers confirming foreign or "freedom fighters" and academics say it's hard to assess the total.

But the number pales compared to an estimated 16,000 fighters from about 90 countries to join Islamic State since 2012, according to the U.S. Department of State figures ....
Title: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: jollyjacktar on January 27, 2015, 20:08:22
Welcome home.  Full story at link below.

Quote
Dillon Hillier, Canadian vet who fought ISIS, returns home safely, parents say

Father Randy Hillier, an Ontario MPP, confirms news through Facebook statement
CBC News Posted: Jan 27, 2015 5:42 PM ET| Last Updated: Jan 27, 2015 5:42 PM ET

A Canadian veteran has returned home safely after aiding the Kurdish fight against ISIS, according to a statement from his parents posted to social media on Tuesday.

Dillon Hillier, 26, is a retired corporal in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry who flew to northern Iraq in November to fight alongside a group battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

On Dec. 1, Hillier posted a dramatic video from the front lines, where he could be seen bandaging a wounded man. While it's not illegal for Canadians to join the Kurdish Pshmerga, the federal government is discouraging military veterans from doing it.

On Tuesday, Jane and Randy Hillier posted a joint statement to Facebook confirming their son Dillon has returned home safely.

Full Story (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/dillon-hillier-canadian-vet-who-fought-isis-returns-home-safely-parents-say-1.2933959)
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Jarnhamar on January 27, 2015, 20:16:00
I'm still curious why his own family crowd sourced to pay for the NVGs when the "1st North American Expeditionary Force" have been accepting thousands of dollars of donations.

After all this has there been only one ex CF member (or Canadian civilian for that matter) that's actually gone over and fought ISIS?
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Schindler's Lift on January 27, 2015, 21:16:37
After all this has there been only one ex CF member (or Canadian civilian for that matter) that's actually gone over and fought ISIS?

http://tinyurl.com/p5pgus5 (http://tinyurl.com/p5pgus5)
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Pieman on January 27, 2015, 21:32:58
Soon, a book about his adventure. Likely followed by a movie about ten years from now...depending on what events took place.

Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Schindler's Lift on January 27, 2015, 22:03:24
And the news keeps describing him as a 26 year old retired Corporal.  26...and retired?  With a what....5-6 year pension?  At best he's an ex-Corporal who quit to take on some other career.  Then again, I shouldn't be surprised with Canadian media.
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Jarnhamar on January 27, 2015, 23:30:33
Book within a year.
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Robert0288 on January 27, 2015, 23:34:12

After all this has there been only one ex CF member (or Canadian civilian for that matter) that's actually gone over and fought ISIS?

There's been more, but not very public or successful.
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Danjanou on January 28, 2015, 12:15:34
Book within a year.

Paul Gross movie starring Shawn Ashmore a year after?  8)
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: blackberet17 on January 28, 2015, 17:08:05
Paul Gross movie starring Shawn Ashmore a year after?  8)

As long as it's better than "Passchendaele"....sweet J****, what a crap movie...so disappointing...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: MCG on February 24, 2015, 02:36:47
After all this has there been only one ex CF member (or Canadian civilian for that matter) that's actually gone over and fought ISIS?
A second CF veteran has now made it know that he has gone to the fight.  Brandon Glossop, formerly of the PPCLI, joined the Kurdish fighters sometime over the past week.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/23/second-canadian-vet-battling-isis-brandon-glossop-felt-need-to-go-after-ottawa-quebec-attacks/
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 24, 2015, 08:38:15
Best of luck to him.  Good hunting and come home safe.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Hamish Seggie on February 24, 2015, 10:22:12
Best of luck to him.  Good hunting and come home safe.

I'll agree with that, but what is it with the PPCLI ? That's two in them so far.
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Lightguns on February 24, 2015, 10:44:30
Soon, a book about his adventure. Likely followed by a movie about ten years from now...depending on what events took place.

Canadian?  A book published by a Nova Scotia publishing house and a CBC movie that cost tax payers more than it took in!  He will still have to bum coffee money afterwards.
Title: Re: Dillon Hillier returns safely to Canada from fighting with Kurdish forces
Post by: Remius on February 24, 2015, 11:15:25
Canadian?  A book published by a Nova Scotia publishing house and a CBC movie that cost tax payers more than it took in!  He will still have to bum coffee money afterwards.

And considering a best seller in Canada is 5000 copies.  And a CBC movie success is a few tens of thousands...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on April 21, 2015, 16:49:04
Bumped with the latest - not exactly NAEF, but a 67-year-old guy tells the UK Daily Mirror he's a Canadian fighting against ISIS with the Kurds (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3049019/Peshmerga-s-foreign-legion-fighting-alongside-defeat-ISIS-workers-ex-soldiers-brave-men-world-teaming-Kurdish-forces.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline) ....
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.ft.com%2Fphoto-diary%2Ffiles%2F2015%2F04%2Fkurds.jpg&hash=f8b0a67d97c2d7adfdbeacbbb4f66e81)
A 67-year-old man from Canada and a 40-year-old from the UK, nick-named by Kurdish fighters as Hewal Zinar and Hewal Cudi, train on the outskirts of the north-western Syrian town of Tal Tamr, north of Hasakeh, near the border with Turkey, as they fight alongside People Protection Unit (YPG) fighters under the commanders, Sider and Gerzan

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.dailymail.co.uk%2Fi%2Fpix%2F2015%2F04%2F21%2F17%2F27D0CE9300000578-3049019-image-a-121_1429632207629.jpg&hash=70ad31b28e5f11e0274d8f6ea056604b)
Experience: Despite being 67, Heval Zinar appears incredibly fit and as he stands in full combat gear with an assault rifle in his hands, it is clear the Canadian national boasts the kind of physique a man a third of his age would be proud of

Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on May 08, 2015, 08:31:03
A bit more detail (http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/080520154) of what the First North American Expeditionary Force has (allegedly?) been up to latest, from a Kurdish media outlet (http://rudaw.net/english/about), shared under the Fair Dealing provisions (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/page-19.html#h-26) of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/index.html) ....
Quote
Foreign group aims at first Peshmerga sniper school

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan — A North American organization claims it is opening a sniper school and medical training facility for the Kurdish Peshmerga, but the ministry that oversees the Kurdish forces remains tightlipped about the purported program.

A group called the First North American Expeditionary Force, or FNAEF, says it plans to be the first non-profit organization to sign an agreement with the Ministry of Peshmerga and Department of Foreign Relations to provide free military training to the Peshmerga using foreign military veterans as volunteer instructors.

While a number of foreign governments are currently offering training to the Peshmerga, Yakhi Hamza, spokesman for the FNAEF in Kurdistan, said only three Peshmerga brigades out of 11 were involved.

“[Peshmerga leaders] were very interested because urban fighting and warfare in plains areas are something new, where they don't have much experience,” he said.

Spokesmen for the Ministry of Peshmerga and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) declined to give any details or even confirm they were in talks with the FNAEF. A source close to the ministry said this may be due to recently imposed restrictions on giving information to the press.

Still, Hamza said his organization was currently finalizing an agreement and hoped to be operational by mid-May. The organization also plans to open a medical training facility.

“Peshmerga died because of a lack of medical skills on the battlefield,” Hamza said. “That's another thing we can help with.”
An initial group of 25 instructors – all North American military veterans – would run the training Hamza said, with plans to expand this number to 200.

Funding would come from private sources and the Peshmerga ministry would not incur any costs.

“It's not a mercenary entity, it's a charity organization,” Hamza said.

The FNAEF was formed last year, originally with the goal of sending vetted foreign volunteers with military experience to fight alongside the Peshmerga. In November, the organization helped Canadian veteran Dillon Hillier to travel to Iraqi Kurdistan where he spent several months with a unit around Kirkuk.

After being told he would no longer be allowed to remain on the front lines, however, Hillier returned home.

When contacted after the Hillier incident, Peshmerga spokesman Helgurd Hekmat said Kurdish law expressly forbids the admission of foreigners to the force, adding “The Peshmerga is a professional fighting force.” 

The FNAEF then shifted its focus to offering training to the Peshmerga. Founder Ian Bradbury told Rudaw in February the Peshmerga needed “technical and institutional development.”

“The influx of individual, uncoordinated, fighter volunteers does not address this need,” Bradbury said.

“In some cases, complicates scenarios by diverting precious manpower and resources towards ensuring the protection of those individuals,” he added.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: SeaKingTacco on May 08, 2015, 10:29:04
I recognize the 67 year old Canadian. He is the real deal. Most definitely not a poser...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on May 08, 2015, 11:01:59
I recognize the 67 year old Canadian. He is the real deal. Most definitely not a poser...

He appears to be very, very fit and healthy.  Age is a state of mind (at least in his case).
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on July 13, 2015, 08:46:37
And now there's reports that the reported abdustion was false:

Report of abduction of Israeli-Canadian soldier may be false: government source
 (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/stay-syria-iraq-ottawa-warns-amid-conflicting-reports-193553182.html)

The federal government is now working on the assumption that the reported abduction of an Israeli-Canadian woman by Islamic militants may in fact be false, The Canadian Press has learned.

A government official who was not authorized to speak on the record about the matter offered that assessment Monday as two federal cabinet ministers urged Canadians to avoid following in the footsteps of Gill Rosenberg, who joined Kurdish fighters overseas ....

More at link

She appears to be back in Israel now (http://pulse.ng/world/islamic-state-jewish-woman-who-helped-kurds-fight-militant-group-returns-to-israel-id3966000.html) ....
Quote
A Canadian-Israeli who was the first foreign woman to help Syria's Kurds fight Islamic State has left the front lines and returned to Israel, citing the spread of Iranian influence in the war zones among her reasons.

After eight months in which she was often incommunicado, stirring rumours that she had fallen captive, Israeli media feted Gill Rosenberg's sudden return on Sunday. But she may still face a legal reckoning for her unauthorised travels.

The 31-year-old former Israeli army volunteer said the lessons of the Holocaust drove her to help protect the Kurds and other Middle East minorities menaced by Islamic State advances.

"I think we as Jews, we say 'never again' for the Shoah, and I take it to mean not just for Jewish people, but for anyone, for any human being, especially a helpless woman or child in Syria or Iraq," Rosenberg told Israel's Army Radio on Monday.

"But in the past few weeks I think a lot of the dynamics have changed there, in terms of what's going on in the war. The Iranian involvement is a lot more pronounced. Things changed enough that I felt that it was time to come home." ....
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on July 25, 2015, 08:08:48
More media (http://bit.ly/1KqFrGe) on foreigners fighting ISIL, with video, including a Canadian (screen capture attached)*:
Quote
.... A former soldier in the Canadian military, giving only his first name, John, says his friends called him crazy to come, at first.

“If you have an average amount of empathy for your fellow human beings, you can’t just watch this kind of thing happening on the news and just think of it as ‘well, it’s too bad,’ and then you just go about your day. It doesn’t work like that. You have to do whatever is in your power to do. This was something that was in my power to do. My family understand that and they know that there is no stopping me from doing this.”

(....)

Syria’s civil war is in its fifth year, with no indication of letting up soon.

John, however, is optimistic.

“I think We can win. That is the thing I’ve seen. Everybody is very afraid of Daesh [ISIL or Islamic State], but from everything I’ve seen, they bleed like normal people, they die like anyone else, they don’t stand up to airstrikes any better than any normal human beings do. They can be beaten.”
* - Remember, this is a public forum.  No names, no pack drill ....
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 10, 2015, 07:21:00
More on two Canadians in the fight (http://www.macleans.ca/news/world/a-tale-of-two-canadians-fighting-islamic-state/), shared under the Fair Dealing provisions (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/page-19.html#h-26) of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/index.html) ....
Quote
The sounds of mortars exploding and the rapid rat-a-tat-tat of machine-gun fire is music to John Gallagher’s ears. “They’re close,” says the 31-year-old native of Windsor, Ont., edging forward slightly. “That’s the closest I’ve heard them from this position. Sounds like they’re 200 metres away. We may have to cut this interview short and make a run for it.”

Lounging on a cushion in an abandoned house on the southern outskirts of Hassakeh city in northern Syria, the former infantryman with the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry looks surprisingly unconcerned, considering he’s talking about militants from the so-called Islamic State, the same group that has burned a Jordanian pilot alive and regularly executes any enemy fighters it captures.

Indeed, for him, the proximity of Islamic State militants doesn’t elicit feelings of fear or concern, but rather, frustration. He’d prefer to be part of the battle than sitting in the midst of it, doing nothing. “I fought with the peshmerga for two months,” he says, referring to the Kurdish militia in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region. “We were pushing out the front line near Kirkuk, taking some villages away from [Islamic State]. We came under fire, got to return fire, got to watch some air strikes blow them up. It was good fun.”

Eighty kilometres to the north of Hassakeh, in Qamishli, a city on the Syrian-Turkish border, Islamic State, known locally as Da’ish, or ISIS, or simply “the terrorists,” are no more than a distant shadow. Qamishli has remained a relatively stable place over the four years of the Syrian civil war, where Kurdish fighters with the Peoples’ Protection Units, or YPG, share a tremulous peace alongside forces loyal to the Syrian regime. Here, in a small park in a neighbourhood controlled by the Kurds, another Canadian, Cody Bergerud, is taking a break from the front lines, surrounded as he is by the sound of birdsong rather than live fire.

Bergerud, a 26-year-old political philosophy major from Saltspring Island, B.C., has been in Syria for four months, having travelled the same smuggling route Gallagher took across the border from Iraq to join the Kurds in their revolutionary project. Before coming, he had never held a gun in his life.

“I do carry a weapon now,” he says, “and I know how to use it, but I haven’t had to use it yet.”

For him, fighting Islamic State is only a temporary phase in the long-term transformation of the Middle East, a small chapter in the grand narrative of the socialist struggle against the forces of capitalism and fascism, of which the Kurds are the vanguards, as they seek to carve out their own homeland. “I wouldn’t have expected to find this here,” he says of the Kurdish revolutionary project, “but when I read about it, I had to come and find out if this is the case.”

Bergerud shipped out of Canada in April and went straight to northern Syria, where he received basic military training, but put his efforts into medical assistance, working as a medic in a hospital near the front lines.

Gallagher and Bergerud are about as different as any two people can be: The wiry, intellectual, leftist Bergerud sports shoulder-length hair and relishes a good debate; the conservative Gallagher prefers the short crop of the soldier and is always on the lookout for a good fight. Bergerud views Islamic State as a product of the sociopolitical history of the region, a fascist movement with all the hallmarks of nationalist fervour that inspired the Nazis and Mussolini’s National Fascist Party; Gallagher sees Islamic State as simply an incarnation of evil that must be fought.

Under any other circumstances, the two would find themselves on the opposite sides of most conflicts, intellectual or otherwise. Gallagher can’t stand leftist pacifism and intellectualism. He left a master’s program because of it, he says, and chides his alma mater, York University, for being “a place crawling with socialists.” Bergerud’s life has been firmly rooted in anarchist politics for years. He embraces armed struggle, but only in its capacity to emancipate, not confront.

Only in Syria could the two find common cause. Like so much else in this war, the horror of Islamic State is forging the most unlikely alliances. The U.S. is tacitly supporting Iranian fighters in Iraq; Syria’s Western-backed secularists are fighting alongside ultra-orthodox Salafi Muslims supported by Saudi Arabia. And, in the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria, foreigners from France, Italy, the U.S. and Canada, among others, have banded together in an eclectic blend of warriors, revolutionaries, adventurers and war tourists, to back a struggle many only vaguely understand.

Only a handful of Canadians have joined the cause, but their backgrounds range from a 67-year-old ESL teacher to a 46-year-old former model who joined the YPJ, the all-female counterpart to the YPG, after watching a video posted on social media by John Maguire, the Ottawa native and Islamic State propagandist.

The road into the war for foreign fighters is more or less the same. “It was surprisingly easy,” says Gallagher. “There are a couple of websites for volunteers who are trying to get over here. I sent identical emails to both the Lions of Rojava in northern Syria, and a website that’s now defunct but was recruiting for the peshmerga in Iraq. The peshmerga happened to respond first. They provide you with a contact in-country, then you basically buy your ticket, get over here, and they put you in the fight.”

Gallagher first arrived in early May, after selling his car to fund the trip. (A crowdfunding campaign he launched didn’t go very well, he says.) Since then, he has been shuttled from front line to front line, chasing the battle against Islamic State. He spent Canada Day getting himself smuggled across the Tigris River separating Syria’s Kurdish region from Iraq in a rubber dinghy, then joined up with other foreign fighters embedded with the YPG.

“The front line in Iraq is basically secure now,” he says. “Da’ish isn’t getting through there without heavy losses, so they’re not going to attack. Once I realized that, I was like, ‘Well, I guess I don’t need to be here anymore. Where’s the fight happening now?’ So I got in touch with the Lions of Rojava again and came here.”

“Here” is the front line in the YPG’s fight against Islamic State in Hassakeh. Gallagher’s post, a gutted concrete home surrounded by a two-metre-high perimeter wall, sits only a few hundred metres from Islamic State positions. When he arrived on July 18, along with two other fighters from the U.S. and an Italian, as well as half a dozen Kurdish fighters, the front line was so fluid, Islamic State militants had likely occupied the same place only days earlier. But now, the YPG has the militants on the run, though Gallagher is somewhat perplexed by their success.

“They’ve got a lot of good fighters; they’ve got a lot of heart,” he says. “But there’s a culture shock. Nobody has the kinds of weapons proficiency we’re used to seeing from a conventional army. Things are more ad libbed, like, whatever works, just do it. They use smaller teams, less ammunition. They do things like clearing a building with just two people; that’s just not something we train for in Canada. You see it and think: That’s just nuts! I can’t imagine myself doing that. But they’re winning.”

Less successful, says Bergerud, is the social revolution. “There are some big missing pieces,” he says. “The war is putting so much pressure on the system, because resources can’t go into building infrastructure. Around 70 per cent of resources are going into the war effort, which means things like schools and hospitals and economic structures are not being built.”

Last week, the socialist project received another blow, when Turkish forces were drawn into the conflict in the wake of a July 20 suicide attack in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc. It was blamed on an Islamic State bomber, who killed 32 people. Turkey condemned the attack and has since begun bombarding Islamic State positions in Syria.

At the same time, Turkish authorities accuse the YPG of having direct links to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, against which it has fought a civil war for the past three decades. The Turks accuse Syria’s Kurds of importing the PKK’s brand of socialist struggle into northern Syria, threatening Turkey’s own stability. Turkish warplanes have also begun to hit PKK positions in northern Iraq and, on July 27, YPG commanders complained that Turkish tanks had fired on their positions inside Syria.

Turkey’s military denied the claim, but the ripple effect from Turkey’s active participation in the Syrian war could undermine the entire revolutionary project in Syria, Bergerud warns. “Turkey would like nothing more than to see this revolution fail,” he says. Moreover, the active military involvement of the Turks poses some serious problems for Western governments, which have largely supported the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq.

Canadians like Bergerud and Gallagher increasingly find themselves entangled in a complex geopolitical dance that could at any time prove deadly. A few weeks ago, they faced the possibility of death at the hands of Islamic State, but, in the coming weeks, may have to contend with a potentially more deadly enemy in Turkish warplanes and artillery positioned at the Syrian border.

The Harper government has warned Canadians to avoid joining the YPG in Syria or the peshmerga in Iraq, advising them instead to enlist in the military. But volunteers who have returned to Canada say authorities are more supportive than they make out to be publicly. In one case, Brandon Glossop, a former armed forces member who returned from fighting with the YPG in mid-May, told the National Post that, when he told a border official where he had been and what he was doing, the officer simply shook his hand and welcomed him home.

But, according to Bergerud and Gallagher, foreign interest in the war is on the wane, with the number of foreign fighters dwindling to 90 from an estimated 300 in the spring, Bergerud says. The numbers are impossible to independently verify, but the downward trend does reflect the realities on the ground. Fighting in Syria, particularly during the summer months, is an exercise in willpower. With temperatures soaring into the mid-40s and supplies consistently low, fighters on the front lines face a constant battle against hunger and fatigue. Foreigners like Gallagher have it especially rough: The YPG uses them as utility fighters, constantly moving them between front lines, wherever the fighting is most intense.

Tiger Sun, the Canadian model turned warrior from Vancouver, left the YPG in late June after suffering health problems, telling the U.K.’s Daily Mail that months of poor diet had taken a physical toll. Others have dabbled in the war, but found it to be less adventurous than they had hoped, and left.

“It’s a problem,” Gallagher says. “The YPG offers to pay your flight home if you come and fight with them, but a lot of people come for a few weeks, realize it’s not for them, and then leave, expecting a free ticket home.”

To counter the problem, the Kurdish leadership has instituted a system whereby new foreign recruits are required to sign a contract before they are accepted into the YPG ranks. Expectations are relatively straightforward, Gallagher says: a minimum six-month commitment, refraining from alcohol and drugs, and respecting the chain of command.

“The unwritten rules are a little more surreal,” he adds, “like not washing your feet in front of women, or not showing bare arms. That’s a tough one, considering the heat.”

Tougher still are the days to come. At his front-line post in Hassakeh, Gallagher says he’s prepared to keep up the fight, as long as it takes to wipe out Islamic State. “I’m in this for the long haul,” he says. “I’m not getting paid a dime, but my ex-military buddies are starting to come through with donations to my fundraising campaign. They understand what this is all about. Da’ish are pure evil; I think it’s my duty to do what I can to defeat them.”

On this day, however, he will have to wait. After the fighting with Islamic State settles down into the occasional burst of machine-gun fire, Gallagher climbs onto the rooftop of the abandoned house to survey the damage. A plume of smoke rises from a cluster of abandoned mud-brick homes no more than 200 m away. “That’s where the fight must have been,” he says, sounding deflated. “Oh well, I’ll get my chance next time.”

Back in Qamishli, Bergerud leaves the park and joins a group of Kurdish activists in a YPG meeting hall nearby. Posters of Abdullah Ocalan, the founder of the PKK, smile down on small groups of teens and tweens gathered around their tables, drinking energy drinks and smoking cigarettes.

Rejeng Abdul Kareem Abdo, a 27-year-old former economics student, complains that Sunni Arabs and Shia Alawites aligned with the Assad regime are the biggest threat to Syria. “We have no choice but to break away from them,” he says.

Bergerud counters that the revolution should be for everyone, regardless of ethnicity or creed.

Abdo is unimpressed. “You foreigners don’t understand what it’s like here,” he retorts. “Syria is broken; it can never be made whole again.”
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on August 10, 2015, 09:34:35
And soon, they will all be considered criminals if they try to come back to Canada, that is if our current PM is still PM in a few months ...
Title: Harper announces travel ban to terrorist zones if elected
Post by: S.M.A. on August 10, 2015, 11:51:23
Good.

Yahoo News/Global News video (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/harper-announces-travel-ban-terrorist-165027828.html)

Quote
Harper announces travel ban to terrorist zones if elected

21 hours ago, Global News
Sun, Aug 9: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is promising to ban travel to "declared zones" where it's a hotbed of terrorist activity.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 10, 2015, 12:01:50
And soon, they will all be considered criminals if they try to come back to Canada, that is if our current PM is still PM in a few months ...
Here's the phrasing being used in the news release (http://www.conservative.ca/harper-announces-banned-travel-zones-to-combat-terrorism/):
Quote
a re-elected Conservative government will create a new category of banned foreign travel zones known as “declared areas”. Declared areas will be designated regions within foreign countries where listed terrorist entities such as ISIS are engaged in hostile activities, and are recruiting and training followers. New legislation will make it a criminal offence for Canadians to travel to such areas.
Depending on what the legislation & designation process would look like, the bit in yellow applies in these "anti-ISIL foreign legion" folks, but maybe not the orange bit.  Someone fighting with the Kurds would be standing on ground occupied by said Kurds.  Still, an interesting word/concept wrestle.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Robert0288 on August 10, 2015, 12:34:50
Legally, you could probably argue on what side of the FEBA you're on and which direction your pointing your rifle.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: PuckChaser on August 10, 2015, 12:46:12


Depending on what the legislation & designation process would look like, the bit in yellow applies in these "anti-ISIL foreign legion" folks, but maybe not the orange bit.  Someone fighting with the Kurds would be standing on ground occupied by said Kurds.  Still, an interesting word/concept wrestle.

Absolutely. They're going to have to be very careful in crafting the law to not catch those trying to do "the right thing".
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: MCG on August 10, 2015, 13:05:40
If they ban travel but leave a loophole for choosing the right side of the fight, then the proposed law would be of no value.  Suddenly there would be a new element of the offence and prosecutors would have to prove people were in the prohibited area with the prohibited faction. 
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Robert0288 on August 10, 2015, 13:43:04
Which brings us back to existing legislation.  In my opinion, the reason why this was even thought of is that somewhere along the line the decision was made that trying to prove all the elements of anything between 83.18 to 83.22 of the Criminal code may be too difficult without potentially using classified information.

Instead if places are declared 'no go' zones, just having geographical proof of a person being in that area would be enough for a conviction.  And we all know how 'selfie' and social media happy people are these days.
Title: Re: Harper announces travel ban to terrorist zones if elected
Post by: Remius on August 10, 2015, 14:29:10
I don't think it is good at all.  Again, this seems to be a populist type of thing to appease the base.  I'm quite confident that this will be shot down the moment it is challenged at the Supreme Court. 

It opens up a dangerous precedent for all sorts of shenanigans that this government or any future government might try to pull.  I also suspect that this might turn off some on the fence voters. 

I would like to think that they could have come up with something better than this to fight things like radicalisation, home grown threats and returning combatants. 
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Teager on August 10, 2015, 14:34:41
Australia already has this law in effect. Maybe see how it works for them and use any lessons learned first.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 10, 2015, 15:55:11
.... Instead if places are declared 'no go' zones, just having geographical proof of a person being in that area would be enough for a conviction.  And we all know how 'selfie' and social media happy people are these days.
<barrack room lawyer>
"Your Honour, my client was only on patrol in the rebel-held area, serving with forces being supported by coalition partners, when this picture was taken."
</barrack room lawyer>  >:D
What MCG said.
Australia already has this law in effect. Maybe see how it works for them and use any lessons learned first.
Passed last fall (http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_LEGislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s976)- good catch.
Title: Re: Harper announces travel ban to terrorist zones if elected
Post by: Valhrafn on August 10, 2015, 17:10:36
I don't think it is good at all.  Again, this seems to be a populist type of thing to appease the base.  I'm quite confident that this will be shot down the moment it is challenged at the Supreme Court. 

It opens up a dangerous precedent for all sorts of shenanigans that this government or any future government might try to pull.  I also suspect that this might turn off some on the fence voters. 

I would like to think that they could have come up with something better than this to fight things like radicalisation, home grown threats and returning combatants.

This does fight returning combatants...you can't return from a place you can't go to.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Retired AF Guy on August 10, 2015, 21:53:51
From PostMedia, re-produced under the usual caveats of the Copyright Act. Another Canadian returning from fighting with the Kurds.

Quote
‘In Canada, I feel like I’m sucking air’: Canadian woman returns after fighting with Kurds against ISIL

Catherine Solyom, Postmedia News | August 8, 2015 3:08 PM ET

Hanna Bohman, from Vancouver, spent five months fighting ISIS with the Kurdish women's defence forces, known as the YPJ, in northern Syria.  She has returned to Canada. 

As news reports of Western youths joining ISIL dominated the headlines last spring, Hanna Bohman — once a fashion model, then a sales clerk — ran the other way: away from her cushy life in Vancouver and toward the front lines in the war against the jihadists.

In March, she boarded a plane to Iraq, and spent 10 days trying to get across the border into Syria to join up with the Kurdish women’s defence forces, known as the YPJ.

She had found her calling.

Now back in Vancouver after four months of moving from abandoned houses to deserted schools, she describes what drover her to the front and the unglamourous, but rewarding life, she lived in northern Syria — the area the Kurds call Rojava — and how she longs to go back.

“There was no one event that motivated me,” said Bohman, reached by phone in Vancouver. “Seeing evil beyond evil, the video of the Canadian guy (John Maguire) joining (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), the fact that governments weren’t doing anything about it. And then I learned about what the Kurds were doing, and I flew to Iraq.”

At first, Bohman, soft-spoken, but seemingly unshakable, was taken to a safe house, then to a camp in the mountains.

“It was really tranquil and beautiful and it reminded me of the Okanagan. There were little caves and little huts, hidden in the trees in the hills. I could spend a lot of time there.”

But soon, Bohman and about 10 other Westerners were smuggled across the river in the middle of the night in a rubber dinghy to a dispatch area for basic training. After only a few hours of training, learning primarily how to take weapons apart and put them back together again, she was off to the front, “which was a lot more fun.”

Bohman is one of several Canadians, though perhaps the only woman, drawn to the fight against ISIL, despite the obvious dangers. Officially, the Canadian government does not condone people going to fight with the Kurds and suggests they join the Canadian army instead. But none of them encountered any difficulties returning home.

Dillon Hillier, a native of Perth, Ont., and a corporal with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry for five years, was driven to join the fight against ISIL by the lone-wolf attacks in Ottawa and St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., last October. He fought with the Kurdish forces known as the peshmerga, and returned home in February. Brandon Glossop, a B.C. veteran of that same Canadian regiment, returned to Canada in May, but is now doing his fundraising to return to the front.

Meanwhile, a Quebecer who goes by the name Wali and who was until recently a sniper with the Canadian Forces, is now in northern Syria with the international brigades of Rojava, or YPG — the men’s brigades.

Bohman, known by her Kurdish nom de guerre, Hevi Piling, has been featured in numerous selfies and videos online over the last few months, sporting a Canadian flag sewn onto her camouflage jacket.

“I had considered joining the Canadian Army, but what I was looking for was exactly what I was doing in Rojava. I didn’t want to sit around for years in Edmonton or Ottawa.”

After a first month in defensive position, essentially on the lookout for suicide trucks, Bohman joined a mobile unit at the front. Her first night, sharing a bedroom with five other women, she woke to the sound of a firefight outside. But the others did not stir and the guard on duty did not rouse them.

“About an hour later, there was all kinds of cheering — it was impressive. The next day, I found out the village we were in was in shooting distance of (enemy) snipers, only 500 metres from the enemy.”

Often, the Kurdish forces would co-ordinate with the coalition led by the U.S. fighting ISIL, moving in after an airstrike to clear the area of any remaining fighters.

“The airstrikes would hit their position and then we’d run in and capture or kill the Daesh (ISIL) fighters. Most of the time, they would run away.”

Bohman can’t really explain why none of this fazed her. She had heard about people, even those with months of military and psychological training, who freaked out once in combat. But not her.

“ISIL fighters would sneak up and we could hear them, but not see them. They had night-vision (goggles), but we didn’t. They could be just across the street. But it didn’t bother me. I thought about why it didn’t bother me, and that’s just how I am.”

She describes seeing a man shot twice in the leg — a survivable injury, usually, but not in Rojava, where there is no medevac to get you out, and a boy no older than 14, fighting for ISIL with his father, hit by an airstrike and succumbing to a head injury.

“The airstrikes are really the terrifying thing,” Bohman said.”I’ve seen what it does to bodies. Getting killed in an airstrike wouldn’t be so bad. But being caught in a collapsed building or buried alive, crushed or suffocated…,” she said.

What she remembers most, however, is the Kurds and their incredible generosity and kindness.

“I saw bodies, and bits of bodies. I helped kill people, but I forget those things. What sticks in my mind are the Kurds. Canadians have a reputation for being friendly, but I don’t think they are. They are just polite. But the Kurds are so unbelievably friendly and nice and egalitarian.”

The women’s brigade in Rojava has equal standing with the men’s brigade, she said. Women are not there to fill a quota, or be radio operators. You could find yourself in a trench next to a man or a woman.

The situation in Rojava, however, has become more complicated in the month since Bohman has been back in Vancouver. Numerous reports this week suggest Turkey, a Canadian and U.S. ally and now an active player in the war against ISIL, was also waging war against Kurds in the region, who have long fought Turkey for autonomy.

This only makes Bohman want to return to Rojava sooner.

“I think about going back a lot. I miss my friends there and I worry about them and it felt like a real purpose. Here in Canada, I feel like I’m sucking air — not doing anything that matters.”

Some of her friends urged her not to go, she said. But most had a typically Canadian attitude.

“They say that’s really cool, but they don’t really care what’s happening there. They just latch on to the fact I used to be a model. But I’m not the story. Look beyond that.

 Article Link (with photos). (http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/in-canada-i-feel-like-im-sucking-air-canadian-woman-returns-after-fighting-with-kurds-against-isil)
Title: Re: Harper announces travel ban to terrorist zones if elected
Post by: Remius on August 10, 2015, 22:25:54
This does fight returning combatants...you can't return from a place you can't go to.

Except these guys are getting to Syria/Turkey, via other countries.  Good luck putting Turkey on that list...

What's wrong with the current laws? If they try to come back you arrest them.  Instead we come up with a blanket law that makes it illegal just to travel there?

Target the ones that are actually doing the crimes.

If anything this will likely just breed more homegrown types frustrated that they can't go over there to die.  At least we can bomb them there.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Stonegeneral on August 10, 2015, 22:54:54
Whether one supports the Prime Minister's newest proposal or not, I would be willing to bet that such legislation would be overturned by the SCC on the grounds of a person's mobility rights.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Remius on August 10, 2015, 22:58:06
Whether one supports the Prime Minister's newest proposal or not, I would be willing to bet that such legislation would be overturned by the SCC on the grounds of a person's mobility rights.

Exactly. I wouldn't bet against you either.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Target Up on August 11, 2015, 06:44:45
Legally, you could probably argue on what side of the FEBA you're on and which direction your pointing your rifle.

Kinda like how the Global War on Terror didn't include the IRA.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 11, 2015, 07:12:00
Whether one supports the Prime Minister's newest proposal or not, I would be willing to bet that such legislation would be overturned by the SCC on the grounds of a person's mobility rights.
True, but that will take 1)  a charge laid, and 2)  a legal fight all the way to the Supremes.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 11, 2015, 11:42:09
Another interesting point raised here (http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/1450845/stephen-harpers-proposed-terrorism-travel-ban-borders-on-racism-toronto-immigrant-activist/) with the proposed travel ban:
Quote
Too few details about the Conservative Party’s promise to ban travel to terrorism hotbeds has people like Maria Al-Masani worried she may never see some family members again.

“This is awful,” said Al-Masani, who came to Toronto from Yemen more than 10 years ago. “If I can’t go to Mukalla, I say bravo. That’s where the bad guys are and nobody should go there.”

“But if I can’t go to the whole of Yemen to see and help my family, I think that’s really racist,” added Al-Masani, who runs Yemen Rights Monitor, a blog that reports human rights violations ....
I'm also guessing Lebanon has bits that (at least on some days) could be considered "designated regions within foreign countries where listed terrorist entities such as ISIS are engaged in hostile activities," with not all of Lebanon in that category.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 12, 2015, 08:29:42
Another interesting point raised here (http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/1450845/stephen-harpers-proposed-terrorism-travel-ban-borders-on-racism-toronto-immigrant-activist/) with the proposed travel ban ....
And on the other hand (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/windsor-doctor-born-in-syria-supports-ban-on-travel-to-hotspots-1.3187343) ....
Quote
A Syrian-born doctor who now lives in Windsor supports Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's recent promise that if re-elected he would introduce legislation making it a criminal offence for Canadians to travel to parts of the world under the control of extremist groups.

"A re-elected Conservative government will designate travel to places that are ground zero for terrorist activity a criminal offence," Harper said Sunday during a security-themed campaign stop in the Ottawa riding of West-Nepean.

When Dr. Ahmad Chaker was asked by CBC News if he supported the election pitch he said:

"Yes, absolutely whatever it takes. The whole country is destroyed now," said the Windsor-based doctor, referring to the devastation in his homeland over the past few years ....
Title: Mo' Canadians Fighting w/Kurds?
Post by: milnews.ca on August 25, 2015, 06:29:27
This, from VICE (https://news.vice.com/article/two-more-canadian-veterans-are-fighting-the-islamic-state):
Quote
Two more former Canadian Forces soldiers have reportedly picked up arms alongside Kurdish militia to fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) in Syria.

The revelation was made by another veteran who hailed from the same Alberta-based regiment and took a similar gamble last year.

"Steve Krsnik and Robert Somerville, two of my 1VP brothers getting some for themselves in Rojava," Brandon Glossop wrote on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BrandonYPG). "To date, the only ex-CF regulars I've heard of traveling to Syria to fight ISIS have all been ex [Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry]. This should not come as a surprise to anyone."

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry is one of Canada's major regular forces regiments that served extensively in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, a scene of major fighting against the Taliban insurgency.

Glossop says in his social media posting both Krsnik and Somerville are serving in Rojava — an area of northeastern Kurdish Syria — and the territory linked with the Kurdish People's Protection Forces (YPG) and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). VICE News requested comment from Glossop about his fellow veterans, but has yet to receive a reply ....
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: crowbag on September 02, 2015, 19:26:01
I think most of these ex-soldiers want a fight, and this one sounds like a worthy enough cause, so lets get involved they say. I sympathize with them in that sense – miss the action – all that good stuff, but they’re pawns at best. I think the geopolitical complexity of the situation in the region is unfortunately not something they're thinking about...

But damn, some of those Kurdish girls in the pics are hot! Maybe they’re onto something……Marxism? Kurdistan? A just war with no ambiguity? Sign me up…

On a side note – I enjoyed the bit in one of the articles about the idealistic kid from Saltspring Island…
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on November 03, 2015, 06:35:15
Oopsie (http://bit.ly/1PiXG15) ....
Quote
A Canadian army veteran who fought with Kurdish forces in northern Syria is being detained in Iraq, according to two acquaintances who said the former Vancouver resident was arrested along with five other Westerners.

“We are aware of the arrest of a Canadian citizen in Iraq,” said Rachna Mishra, a Foreign Affairs spokeswoman. “Canadian consular officials at the embassy of Canada in Amman, Jordan, are providing consular assistance as required.”

(....)

Hanna Bohman, a Vancouver woman currently with the Kurdish forces, said the Canadian was a volunteer with the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the Syrian Kurdish militia battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

“Yes, he’s YPG,” she said.

Bohman said she met him at a YPG training facility as he was leaving Syria for Iraq. He was taken into custody in northern Iraq late last month along with a Swede, two Spaniards and two Americans — one of them a doctor, she said.

“He joined YPG because he was sick of ISIS,” said Colin Rutterford, a Briton who said he met the Canadian at a safehouse in Iraq in late June. Rutterford said he was a loner and spent his free time playing games on his phone. “Just a bloke there to do what he could.”

(....)
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: MCG on November 05, 2015, 02:34:04
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a Canadian fighting the Islamic State group in Syria has been killed in a suicide attack.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/canadian+fighting+with+kurdish+forces+syria+killed+suicide+bombing+report/11493345/story.html

Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: 88rustang07 on November 05, 2015, 06:05:21
I think most of these ex-soldiers want a fight, and this one sounds like a worthy enough cause, so lets get involved they say. I sympathize with them in that sense – miss the action – all that good stuff, but they’re pawns at best. I think the geopolitical complexity of the situation in the region is unfortunately not something they're thinking about...

But damn, some of those Kurdish girls in the pics are hot! Maybe they’re onto something……Marxism? Kurdistan? A just war with no ambiguity? Sign me up…

On a side note – I enjoyed the bit in one of the articles about the idealistic kid from Saltspring Island…

How does that make them "Pawns"? "The geopolitical complexity of the situation"  :facepalm: is irrelevant if their intent is to go and fight the IS and they do just that. Regardless if someone else agenda benefits from it they still did what they intended to do.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on November 05, 2015, 06:44:22
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a Canadian fighting the Islamic State group in Syria has been killed in a suicide attack.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/canadian+fighting+with+kurdish+forces+syria+killed+suicide+bombing+report/11493345/story.html
This (http://www.syriahr.com/en/2015/11/the-canadian-fighter-who-died-in-an-explosion-in-the-countryside-of-al-hool/), from the Observatory ....
Quote
The Canadian fighter who died in an explosion in the countryside of al-Hool

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was informed that the name of the Canadian fighter who died when a fighter from the “Islamic state” detonated himself in a farm near Dalhu village in the countryside of al-Hool is “John Robert Gallagher” (the name might be misspelled) 23 years old, where he was fighting in the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces which is having violent battles against the “Islamic state” in the vicinity of al-Hool area in Al-Hasakah province.
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.syriahr.com%2Fen%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F11%2F0000-1024x640.jpg&hash=6c6a10734a1f22f8414d8796404ec616)
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Tuan on November 05, 2015, 21:35:18
This (http://www.syriahr.com/en/2015/11/the-canadian-fighter-who-died-in-an-explosion-in-the-countryside-of-al-hool/), from the Observatory ....
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.syriahr.com%2Fen%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F11%2F0000-1024x640.jpg&hash=6c6a10734a1f22f8414d8796404ec616)

Sad, but has anyone thought if ISIS is sending a message to Canada by killing a Canadian who was training the Kurds in the wake of the news that Canada will expand its training mission in the region while withdraw the fighter jets and also coincide on the day our prime minister sworn in? Just a speculation...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: MCG on November 05, 2015, 22:27:40
Sad, but has anyone thought if ISIS is sending a message to Canada by killing a Canadian who was training the Kurds in the wake of the news that Canada will expand its training mission in the region while withdraw the fighter jets and also coincide on the day our prime minister sworn in? Just a speculation...
You seem to have confused him for a member of the Canadian training mission.  He was not.  He was a civilian who joined the Kurdish forces.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Tuan on November 05, 2015, 22:39:15
I thought he was an ex-soldier, no?
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on November 06, 2015, 07:09:01
Remembered in the Ontario Legislature (http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/ontario-legislature-pays-tribute-to-canadian-killed-fighting-isil-after-kurds-confirm-death-of-martyr) ....
Quote
The Ontario legislature paid tribute to a former Canadian infantryman Thursday after the Syrian Kurdish armed group he had served as an international volunteer fighter confirmed his death and called him a “martyr.”

Randy Hillier, an MPP whose son also fought with Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant, asked parliamentarians to recognize John Gallagher and send condolences to his family.

“He left the safety and security of Canada and volunteered to help defend women and children in Syria and Iraq from the tyranny of (ISIL),” Hillier said of the former Essex County resident, eliciting a standing ovation from MPPs ....
From Hansard (Ontario) (http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/house-proceedings/house_detail.do?Date=2015-11-05&Parl=41&Sess=1&locale=en#P600_162207):
Quote
Speaker, yesterday we found out that another Canadian has fallen in combat.

John Robert Gallagher grew up in rural Ontario, in Wheatley, Essex county. He grew up to be a man of courage and conviction. He was a former member of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He left the safety and security of Canada and volunteered to help defend women and children in Syria and Iraq from the tyranny of IS.

I would like to recognize, and I’m sure this House would like to recognize, both his courage and his virtue and express our condolences to John Gallagher’s family.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on November 08, 2015, 04:23:12
A different scenario, via the National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-who-died-fighting-isil-wasnt-killed-by-a-suicide-bomber-but-by-a-lone-gunman-in-the-night):
Quote
A Canadian army veteran killed in northern Syria last week was shot at close range by a gunman who approached him during the early morning darkness, according to two fighters who were nearby at the time.

Refuting reports that John Robert Gallagher was killed by a suicide bomber, both told the National Post he had actually died of a gunshot wound to the leg. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighter who shot him was killed.

“He died amongst friends and brothers,” said one of them, who had fought alongside Gallagher and said he was 500 metres away at the time of last Wednesday incident near Hasakeh, where they were trying to retake a village from ISIL.

He said Gallagher was “set up near a house in the prone position and then a man approached him.” Apparently unsure who the man was, Gallagher spoke to him. The man then pulled his gun and the others, realizing he was ISIL, shot him.

But as the enemy fighter was falling, he let off a burst of gunfire and one of the bullets struck Gallagher’s hip. “There was massive internal bleeding.

There wasn’t anything that could be done,” said another fighter who was nearby ....
Title: Re: Mo' Canadians Fighting w/Kurds?
Post by: milnews.ca on December 09, 2015, 13:49:04
This, from VICE (https://news.vice.com/article/two-more-canadian-veterans-are-fighting-the-islamic-state):
Quote
Two more former Canadian Forces soldiers have reportedly picked up arms alongside Kurdish militia to fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) in Syria.

The revelation was made by another veteran who hailed from the same Alberta-based regiment and took a similar gamble last year.

"Steve Krsnik and Robert Somerville, two of my 1VP brothers getting some for themselves in Rojava," Brandon Glossop wrote on his Facebook page. "To date, the only ex-CF regulars I've heard of traveling to Syria to fight ISIS have all been ex [Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry]. This should not come as a surprise to anyone." ....
More from one of these wacky funsters, via VICE (https://army.ca/forums/index.php?action=post;quote=1385162;topic=117008.125):
Quote
In the wake of one Canadian veteran's death fighting against the Islamic State (IS), another former soldier with the same rebel group is calling out Justin Trudeau's government for lack of action — and urging others like him to go rogue and join the war.

"In need of good and willing soldiers," Steve Krsnik wrote this week in a Facebook post. "Combat vets and experienced soldiers are needed in the fight against ISIS. The more experience the better if you are interested please send a PM for more details. With a list of experiences and courses preferred."

(....)

He and Somerville are serving with the Kurdish People's Protection Forces (YPG) in Kurdish Syria in territory loosely controlled by the YPG and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

When asked in September by VICE News why he chose to fight with the YPG, a group with links to the PKK, which is deemed a terrorist organization by some nations, Krsnik said "the choice was easy" and that he was eager to fight, while other avenues were taking too long.

"I am working as a volunteer fighting in Kurdistan against ISIS cuz our POS government isn't doing anything to help atm," said Krsnik in response to a friend who questioned his motives. "I am fully independent and working with local forces to push back and eliminate the threat we face. No disrespect taken brother."

(....)

"Only hard choice was how do I go about the whole PKK affiliation and other parties that have questionable ties and how that would effect my return," said Krsnik in a Facebook message to this reporter ....
And why would fighting in the YPG for the Syrian branch of the PKK be an issue, you may ask?  Because Canada considers it a terrorist organization (http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx#2035):
Quote
.... Formally established in Turkey in 1978 by Abdullah Ocalan, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK / KADEK) is a Kurdish political party whose main goal is the creation of an independent Kurdish state in southeast Turkey and in northern Iraq, a region that is part of the traditional territory of the Kurdish people. To reach its goal, the PKK / KADEK has led a campaign of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, especially in Turkey and in northern Iraq. Its activities include attacking the Turkish military, diplomats and Turkish businesses at home and in some western European cities. It has also been known to bomb resorts and kidnap tourists in an attempt to destabilize tourism in Turkey ....
And it was a Liberal government that declared them bad boys 13 years ago (almost to the day - 10 December).  Interesting times, indeed ....
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on January 28, 2016, 07:22:39
Some of the latest (http://www.cp24.com/news/canadian-volunteers-fighting-with-kurdish-forces-in-iraq-might-breach-anti-terror-law-1.2755322) ...
Quote
The notion that Canadian volunteers fighting with Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and Syria could face prosecution under the former Conservative government's tough anti-terror laws has one human rights group calling for stricter supervision of the country's military training mission in the war-torn region.

A secret "Canadian Eyes Only" analysis of the Kurdish peshmerga, prepared by Transport Canada's intelligence branch, warns there are some factions of the militia group that are designated as terrorist entities under federal law.

"Any Canadians claiming to have links to organizations such as the People's Worker Party (PKK) are likely to become the subject of Canada's anti-terror legislation," says the report to the department, one of many federal agencies with a security assessment branch ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Jarnhamar on January 28, 2016, 11:12:35
Transport Canada's intelligence branch?
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Colin P on January 28, 2016, 11:19:01
Transport Canada's intelligence branch?

tis a oxymoron for sure, although they do have a Marine security branch, but it's more a data collection and report generation unit
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: George Wallace on January 28, 2016, 11:23:37
Transport Canada's intelligence branch?

tis a oxymoron for sure, although they do have a Marine security branch, but it's more a data collection and report generation unit

Actually; it is a lot more than that.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Remius on January 28, 2016, 11:24:06
Transport Canada's intelligence branch?

tis a oxymoron for sure, although they do have a Marine security branch, but it's more a data collection and report generation unit

It's a bit more than just maritime security. It covers most of the transportation sector as well. 
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on January 28, 2016, 11:34:15
Obviously, Transport Canada is not a law enforcement agency and they are not charged with security intelligence. However, by virtue of what they do, including various types of inspections, and of the large volume of various transportation related information that go through their hand, they come upon interesting clues and leads.

The intel section sifts through that data they generate to identify these clues and pass them on to the proper enforcement agencies, be they RCMP, CATSA, CBSA, etc. It's not high level security intel work, but I have seen good info come out of TC.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Jarnhamar on January 28, 2016, 11:41:51
Okay fair enough but doesn't it still sound a bit weird?

Quote
A secret "Canadian Eyes Only" analysis of the Kurdish peshmerga, prepared by Transport Canada's intelligence branch


Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: George Wallace on January 28, 2016, 12:12:29
Obviously, Transport Canada is not a law enforcement agency and they are not charged with security intelligence.

All intelligence agencies are charged with 'security'.  That does not mean that it involves 'security' as related to LEOs or various forms of espionage.  It could deal with such things as 'physical security'. 

For those in Ottawa, you should have some idea of how many "Intelligence" organizations there are.  Nearly every Government Department has an "Intelligence" organization.  There are units that track financial transactions -- the "Follow the Money" guys.  There are "Intelligence" organizations that track threats to the environment.  Of course we have the RCMP, CBSA, Public Safety and a few others tracking criminal activities.  DND/CAF are tracking foreign military activities.  Global Affairs (formerly Foreign Affairs) are tracking political and economic conditions overseas.  CSIS and CSEC are doing their thing.  Transport Canada is just one of many, tracking any threats to any Canadian transportation, including such things as passengers on transport vehicles (air, land or sea).  There are numerous origanzations collecting and sharing "intelligence" in the country.  One could get quite paranoid in the nation's capital if you started looking for "spooks".
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on February 03, 2016, 08:08:14
Oopsie ... (http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/not-a-dangerous-person-canadian-army-vet-who-fought-isil-detained-in-australia)
Quote
A Canadian army veteran who recently fought with Kurdish forces in Syria has been detained by immigration authorities in Australia, according to his parents.

Robert Somerville left northern Syria last month and was attempting to visit his father in Australia when he was taken to a detention centre in Brisbane. He is to be deported this week.

“He told me he was refused because he didn’t put his Kurdish name on his paperwork,” his father Richard Somerville, an Ontario man currently living in Australia, said Tuesday.

He said his son was not a dangerous person and should not have been detained. “For someone who would have been treated like a hero in Canada to be treated like a criminal in Australia is shocking,” he said.

(...)

A veteran of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry’s C Company in Edmonton, Somerville served in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010. He traveled to Syria last year as a volunteer.

He told the National Post in an interview last summer he had joined the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units, or YPG, because of the atrocities committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

He narrowly escaped a suicide car bombing attack by ISIL, and early in 2016 left for Thailand before arriving in Australia on Monday. Australia has strict foreign fighter laws ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on February 14, 2016, 10:05:44
It looks like Turkey's shelling units (http://bit.ly/1PwU2Qs) that might (at least potentially, based on public reports previously posted in this thread) have some Canadians who've joined to fight ISIS/ISIL.

So, should we be pissed at Turkey for (maybe) shelling Canadian volunteers fighting ISIS/ISIL, or at our own folk for fighting for a group (http://bit.ly/243xK0o) Turkey says is connected to a group Canada considers terrorists (http://bit.ly/1TjidFO)?

As someone smarter than me has said elsewhere, Kurds within Kurds within Kurds, indeed ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 09, 2016, 07:37:54
British study of foreign anti-ISIS fighters:  so, are they legal, or not? (http://bit.ly/2baM1mW)
Quote
Governments need to clarify whether their citizens can legally serve as volunteer fighters in armed groups battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq, a study released Tuesday has recommended.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue report found that governments “appear reluctant to state clearly” whether the hundreds of Western anti-ISIL fighters, many of them military veterans, have broken any laws.

The hazy legality has led to confusion and uncertainty among both volunteer fighters and law-enforcement agencies over whether Westerners joining forces with Kurdish militias could be prosecuted at home.

The Canadian government has sent mixed signals on the issue: while verbally discouraging Canadians from taking up arms against ISIL, Ottawa has not prevented them from travelling or arrested them, although some have been questioned by the RCMP upon returning.

“There is a need in some instances for governments to clarify the legal situation surrounding anti-ISIS foreign fighters,” according to an advance copy of the 64-page report obtained by the National Post ...
Full study (64 pg PDF) here (http://bit.ly/2bb8fZk), summary (5 page) attached.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on December 04, 2016, 20:56:06
Not many details @ this point (http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com%2Fnews%2Fcanadian-veteran-fighting-isil-has-been-arrested-in-iraq-his-mother-says-nobody-knows-the-reasons) ...
Quote
A Canadian military veteran who has spent the past six months fighting ISIL alongside Kurdish forces has been arrested in northern Iraq, his mother said in an interview Sunday.

Michael Kennedy, 32, was on his to Sulaymaniyah, trying to make it home to Newfoundland for Christmas, when he was taken into custody by Iraqi Kurdish authorities, said his mother Kay Kennedy.

“All I know is he’s been arrested and he’s in Erbil,” she said from Saint Vincent’s, Nfld. She said she got the news from a Kurdish friend of her son’s. “He said nobody knows the reasons.”
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on December 05, 2016, 10:31:06
More details (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/nl-veteran-arrested-in-iraq-1.3881401), shared under the Fair Dealing provisions (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/page-9.html#h-26) of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/index.html) ...
Quote
A military veteran from Newfoundland and Labrador who had been fighting ISIS in northern Iraq has been arrested, according to a report from the National Post.

Michael Kennedy, 32, spent the past six months as one of hundreds of foreign volunteers assisting Kurdish forces, the report published Sunday said.

His mother, Kay Kennedy, told the National Post that her son was on his way home for Christmas when he taken by Iraqi Kurdish authorities. She found out from friend of her son's in Iraq.

"All I know is he's been arrested and he's in Erbil," Kennedy told the National Post. "Nobody knows the reasons."

Kennedy declined an interview with CBC News Monday morning, and said she had been advised not to do any more interviews about her son's situation.

She said the situation is particularly hard on her, as her son Kevin, 20 (http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/80003265?Kevin%20Vincent%20Kennedy), was one of six Canadian soldiers killed in a roadside bomb blast in 2007.

Michael Kennedy served in the Canadian Forces for 13 years, his mother said, but after leaving the military in March, he made his way to northern Syria three months later.

Kay Kennedy said he later crossed into Iraq and has been fighting around Shingal since.

She told the National Post he volunteered to fight the ISIS forces after hearing the experiences of people in northern Iraq, as "sort of a humanitarian thing."

The federal government has discouraged Canadians from travelling to fight ISIS but has not stopped them or arrested them upon their return.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: jollyjacktar on December 05, 2016, 19:24:09
I hope he gets home soon, the family has paid fate more than enough.   :salute:

I remember when his brother fell as I was a member of the team installing the WIISK add on armour to the vehicles at KAF.  His vehicle was the first one of those we modified that took casualties and I'll be forever haunted by it and the Coyote that followed that week.
Title: Canada's Info-machine: We're working on it
Post by: milnews.ca on December 05, 2016, 20:09:10
A bit of an update (http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ottawa-says-it-s-working-to-win-release-of-former-soldier-arrested-in-iraq-1.3189741):
Quote
A former Canadian soldier being held in Iraq is in good health and Canadian Embassy officials are working to win his release, federal cabinet minister Judy Foote confirmed Monday.

Foote, the senior minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador, spoke to Mike Kennedy's mother in Newfoundland earlier in the day, said press secretary Jessica Turner.

(...)

Kay Kennedy told the radio station it appeared there was a problem with some documents, suggesting some had expired. She said she was sure her son's visa was good until January.

(...)

Global Affairs Canada told The Canadian Press it was aware of a Canadian citizen being detained in Iraq, and spokeswoman Kristine Racicot confirmed in an email that Canadian officials are providing consular assistance and are in contact with local authorities.

However, Racicot said she could not disclose more details because of privacy considerations.

Racicot said Global Affairs Canada is advising against all non-essential travel to Iraq, including the provinces under the control of the Kurdistan regional government in northern Iraq. The department said the security situation in Erbil and a few other towns "could deteriorate quickly."

"All Canadians who travel to Syria and Iraq must do so at their own personal risk," the email said. "Due to the unpredictable security situation, providing consular assistance in all parts of Iraq and Syria is severely limited." ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on December 06, 2016, 07:40:28
Some more detail from Russian-state media (RIA Novosti) (http://bit.ly/2gL1tds), shared under the Fair Dealing provisions (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/page-9.html#h-26) of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/index.html) - highlights mine ...
Quote
A Canadian military veteran has been arrested by Kurdish forces in Erbil, Northern Iraq, under mysterious circumstances. Michael Kennedy has been fighting Daesh forces in Iraq as a volunteer since June, and was attempting to return to his native Newfoundland for Christmas.

Kennedy served in the Canadian military for thirteen years. In a radio interview with VCOM, Kennedy’s mother claimed that he was part of a naval mission to the Gulf of Aden, where numerous nations have deployed warships to combat Somali pirates. In March 2016, Kennedy left the Canadian military and a few months later traveled to Northern Syria to join Kurdish fighters combating Daesh. He would later continue to fight in Nineveh, an Iraqi province sandwiched between Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Canadian military serviceman was fighting alongside the People’s Protection Units (YPG,) a Kurdish militia force based out of Northern Syria that has extended into Iraq in recent years. AP reports that Turkey considers the YPG to be a wing of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)***, a left-wing political party that has waged a bitter war of independence against Turkey since the 1980’s. This claim on Turkey’s part has proved problematic for the West, as the PKK is considered by NATO to be a terrorist group. The YPG is also a backbone to coalition efforts to defeat Daesh, and are actively armed by the United States.

The most likely explanation for Kennedy’s arrest is that he is associated with a rival faction to the territory he was passing through: the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP,) who control the government of Iraqi Kurdistan. They have worked closely with the Turks in the past. A similar incident to Kennedy's arrest occurred in October 2015, when six Western volunteers with the YPG were detained by the KDP. Three others met the same fate in April 2016. However, these nine were all detained because their visas had expired. Kennedy’s mother told VOCM that she is positive her son’s visa was valid through January, suggesting an extra wrinkle to the story.

The Globe and Mail reports that Global Affairs Canada (GAC), which manages Canada’s diplomatic and consular efforts, is aware of Kennedy’s detention and are working to have him released from custody and returned to Canada. Specific details about the incident have been withheld due to "privacy concerns," according to GAC, who also confirmed that he has met with Canadian embassy officials and is in good health.

*** - PKK's still considered a terrorist group by Canada (http://bit.ly/2gYkoze) - Kurds within Kurds ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on December 07, 2016, 09:19:55
Media reports say Michael Kennedy's free now (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-kurdish-released-1.3884457) -- here's why Kurd authorities said he was detained ...
Quote
... Kurdish authorities, while not disputing the account, say Kennedy's side-trip into Syria was a serious violation that warranted his detention.

"He is arrested because he came from Syria and crossed [the] Iraq and [Kurdish Regional Government] borders illegally [at] Shingal," Dindar Zebari, the assistant head of foreign relations in the semi-autonomous region, told CBC News on Tuesday.

Zebari said Kennedy had been dealt with under Iraqi law.

A spokeswoman in the Kurdish prime minister's office added that other countries do not allow foreigners to cross boundaries at will and the arrest was a matter of "the rule of law."

The other foreign fighters — including some U.S. and German citizens — were not released with Kennedy on Tuesday ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Colin P on December 07, 2016, 13:50:52
according the article I read, he was not initially detained as his visa was in order, but opted to stay with his buddies who were.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on February 24, 2019, 17:04:54
Bumped after quite a while with this YT video (http://bit.ly/2ViyrCX) (~45 minutes) posted last weekend of a chap identified as a Canadian fighting w/YPG in Syria near the Iraq border.

All I'll add as a teaser is:  Interesting ideological mix there.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: reverse_eng on February 24, 2019, 17:26:27
The poor guy will probably get more hassle from CSIS and RCMP when he returns than the terrorists that come back.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on February 26, 2019, 15:49:51
More (https://ind.pn/2T00DOq) (UK media) on the Canadian chap interviewed in the video posted here earlier this week ...
Quote
he rise of Isis attracted thousands of foreigners from around the world to Syria. But it wasn’t just religious extremists who were drawn here. 

While scores were travelling to Syria for jihad, a smaller but no less committed group of internationalists was heading to the other side of the battle.

“People back home like to think Daesh [Isis] is just a problem for the Middle East and that’s it,” says Kyle Town, a mild-mannered 30-year-old from Thunder Bay, in Ontario, Canada, using the Arabic name for Isis. “But it doesn’t just exist here. It affects everyone.”

Town, a former sheet-metal worker, is among thousands of westerners who travelled to Syria to fight Isis and take part in a “revolution” led by a hitherto little-known Kurdish group in the country’s north.

Among them are former soldiers, charity workers, students, engineers and all manner of anarchists and leftists. Eight Britons who went to fight Isis – men and women – died in towns and cities unknown to most people back home.

The volunteers have drawn comparisons to the International Brigades, the foreign fighters who travelled to Spain to battle Franco’s fascists in the 1930s and were made famous by George Orwell. This time, though, they are on the winning side.

Isis’s self-declared caliphate is all but defeated, leaving those who came to fight it at a crossroads. Many say they are not ready to return home, and instead will stay on in Syria. But as the civil war transitions to a new phase, their role is uncertain.

“There is a lot of work besides fighting Daesh,” says Town, who is currently in an infantry unit. “There are all sorts of civilian works. I came here because I wanted to participate in this revolution as best I can.”   

Town is a member of a leftist Kurdish militia called the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which has counted thousands of western volunteers in its ranks over the past few years ...
More @ link
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Cloud Cover on February 26, 2019, 18:03:12
The poor guy will probably get more hassle from CSIS and RCMP when he returns than the terrorists that come back.

I'm sure they know enough about him already. No poetry for him!!
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 26, 2019, 18:57:19
I'm sure they know enough about him already. No poetry for him!!

It's all been done before, of course, and it seems as if these folks don't have a very good time messing about 'informally' in other people's wars....

These two recent books portray the war from Canadian viewpoints -- those of Dr. Norman Bethune, who ran a mobile blood-transfusion service for the Republican forces, and Ronald Liversedge, a working-class Canadian who fought in the International Brigades with the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. Neither man had a very good war, and in some ways they foreshadowed the Canadians of later generations who went off to fight in other people’s wars.

https://thetyee.ca/Culture/2014/08/16/Canadian-Rogues-Spanish-Civil-War/

Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on February 26, 2019, 20:21:24
These two recent books portray the war from Canadian viewpoints -- those of Dr. Norman Bethune, who ran a mobile blood-transfusion service for the Republican forces, and Ronald Liversedge, a working-class Canadian who fought in the International Brigades with the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. Neither man had a very good war, and in some ways they foreshadowed the Canadians of later generations who went off to fight in other people’s wars.

https://thetyee.ca/Culture/2014/08/16/Canadian-Rogues-Spanish-Civil-War/
And based on some of the other YPG "international academy" videos and the multiple references to "friends" (and the occasional slip into "comrades"), there's a lot of the same ideological work being done with today's internationalists fighting ISIS -- with this group, anyway.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: medicineman on February 26, 2019, 22:26:54
It's all been done before, of course, and it seems as if these folks don't have a very good time messing about 'informally' in other people's wars....

These two recent books portray the war from Canadian viewpoints -- those of Dr. Norman Bethune, who ran a mobile blood-transfusion service for the Republican forces, and Ronald Liversedge, a working-class Canadian who fought in the International Brigades with the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. Neither man had a very good war, and in some ways they foreshadowed the Canadians of later generations who went off to fight in other people’s wars.

https://thetyee.ca/Culture/2014/08/16/Canadian-Rogues-Spanish-Civil-War/

Bethune made a habit of it though...he became a senior medical officer for Mao.  He's actually considered a hero in China.

MM
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Cloud Cover on February 27, 2019, 00:02:01
... and he’s a hero to many Canadians who have been accordingly indoctrinated.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on March 04, 2019, 22:56:58
The poor guy will probably get more hassle from CSIS and RCMP when he returns than the terrorists that come back.
It might be a bit ... complicated for "foreign legion/internationalist" folks fighting with the YPG (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Protection_Units). 

Good bit:  They're fighting ISIS/Daesh face-to-face - the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Tricky bit (1):  Their links to the PKK (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdistan_Workers%27_Party), who are considered terrorists by our NATO ally, Turkey.  One suggestion of said links:  check out the picture of the big moustached face of the guy @ the front of the classroom at the YPG's "International Academy" (all filmed by the same guy who did the Canadian's interview).  That would be this guy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_%C3%96calan), one of the founding members of the PKK who's been  a "guest" of the Turks since 1999 (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ocalans-capture-did-not-end-foreign-support-to-pkk-141295).

Tricky bit (2):  In fact, Canada Revenue Agency just dinged a Toronto charity for being "linked to or openly support(ing) the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and/or armed militia groups and political groups that are closely aligned with the PKK" (https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/haip/srch/revcausesumm-eng.action?&bn=844104265RR0001), which Canada also considers a terrorist organization (https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-en.aspx#43).

Hence, the messiness - and the whole "Kurdish flag on Canadian uniforms" fracas (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,116553.msg1433192.html#msg1433192) during the summer of 2016.

#KurdsWithinKurdsWithinKurds
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: CBH99 on March 04, 2019, 23:24:49
I understand there is, sometimes, unfortunately, a 'formal' designation of 'terrorist group' and a 'we are going to label them terrorists even though we execute similar activities as they do'.   In this case, my PERSONAL opinion - is that Turkey lacks any real credibility when it comes to labeling them terrorists.

They were fighting ISIS while Turkey was buying oil from them.  They were fighting ISIS while Turkey bombed their villages -- not individual targets, VILLAGES. 



Turkey considers judges, students, teachers, soldiers, news anchors, and probably your mom's faithful cat - as "terrorist suspects" - and has imprisoned hundreds of it's own citizens on grounds that wouldn't hold up anywhere else in NATO or the EU.  (Hence the EU saying 'hell no' to Turkey ever becoming a member.)


When Turkey no longer has rooms filled with people hogtied in their underwear, and judges & teachers can perform their duties without fear of arrest & indeterminate detainment...maybe I'll start taking Turkey's 'concerns' with a bit more sincerity. 

Until then, I don't believe Canada should put too much weight on Turkey's designation of 'terrorists' when Canadian citizens are returning.  We should be screening them ourselves and using our own judgment on whether or not they fit the criteria of what WE would consider terrorist acts/groups.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on March 05, 2019, 08:17:06
... my PERSONAL opinion - is that Turkey lacks any real credibility when it comes to labeling them terrorists.  They were fighting ISIS while Turkey was buying oil from them.  They were fighting ISIS while Turkey bombed their villages -- not individual targets, VILLAGES ... When Turkey no longer has rooms filled with people hogtied in their underwear, and judges & teachers can perform their duties without fear of arrest & indeterminate detainment...maybe I'll start taking Turkey's 'concerns' with a bit more sincerity ...
Agreed, which is what can make the political part of the equation a bit murkier when designating terrorist groups, especially when an (at least alleged) NATO ally also considers a group "bad guys".

South of us, I notice late last year, the U.S. State Dep't removed the YPG grouping from it's "bad guys" list -- even if 1)  the int side still said there's links there (https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2018/09/21/us-removes-pkks-syrian-extension-pydypg-from-terrorism-list), and 2)  the U.S. offering bounties on some PKK hombres (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-usa-pkk/u-s-must-break-from-syrian-kurds-after-pkk-reward-offer-turkey-idUSKCN1NC0GY).

Bottom line:  if I was a travel agent, I wouldn't book these folks' return tickets through Turkey ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on April 03, 2019, 16:19:28
... I don't believe Canada should put too much weight on Turkey's designation of 'terrorists' when Canadian citizens are returning.  We should be screening them ourselves and using our own judgment on whether or not they fit the criteria of what WE would consider terrorist acts/groups.
Interestingly, one chap in the U.K. is facing terrorism charges after fighting with the YPG (https://uk.news.yahoo.com/briton-aidan-james-had-amazing-time-fighting-soldiers-163800324.html) - highlights mine ...
Quote
A British man wrote in a diary that he had an "amazing time" fighting against the Islamic State in Syria, a court has heard.

Aidan James, from Merseyside, allegedly described the terror group as "the biggest threat the world has seen since Hitler" and said he fought on the "front line numerous times", killing IS soldiers.

The 28-year-old had no previous military knowledge when he allegedly set out to join the conflict in August 2017.

He is accused of receiving training from the Marxist group PKK before linking up with Kurdish YPG units, otherwise known as People's Protection Units, in Syria.

The Old Bailey has heard that his four months of combat amounted to "terrorism, even if his eventual fighting was against other terrorists".

He is said to have "fuelled violence and devastation" in Syria by travelling to fight with guns and explosives.

The father-of-one denies engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and two charges of attending a place used for terrorist training.

On the second day of his trial at the Old Bailey, pictures of him posing with YPG insignia wearing military clothing were shown to the jury.

A diary entry describing the worsening situation in Syria was also revealed to the court.

In December 2017, James allegedly wrote: "The situation with Turkey continues to worsen... the war is long from over but I am playing my part in this war and feel good to be a part of history and with the revolutionary force of YPG.

"Daesh (IS) is the biggest threat the world has seen since Hitler so anything I can do in these operations is good."

In another handwritten entry, James said he was "waiting for Daesh to give me the opertunity (sic) to fire".

He described his group's "quest to vanquish Daesh from this place and send the rechid (sic) souls straight to hell".

James also wrote that he got "a kill" that day and was "very happy to get rid of another rat".

One photograph shown to jurors was of a black Islamic State flag with the caption: "This is the evil flag of the worlds enemy ISIS, Daesh. IS flag (took) from a window in Deir Ezzor by me. F*** Daesh!!" ...
More on the guy's legal fight via Google News here (https://www.google.com/search?q=Aidan+James+ypg&safe=active&client=firefox-b-ab&tbm=nws&tbas=0&source=lnt&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxqKvX0bThAhWOuVkKHba3ArQQpwUIIQ&biw=2144&bih=1031&dpr=0.9).
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on July 10, 2019, 22:29:10
This commentary from Turkish media (https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2019/07/11/us-seeks-support-from-european-allies-for-ypg-terrorists-in-syria), offering a bit of hope for folks fighting w/the YPG looking for friends if/when they want to return to Canada (Turkey, bad - U.S./helpers, good) ...
Quote
The U.S. continues its search to provide military support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is controlled by the PKK terrorist organization's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG). With U.S. ground troops preparing to partially withdraw from Syria, Washington has been looking to provide the terrorist group the necessary equipment and backing it needs. The latest move on the matter was revealed yesterday, as the U.K. agreed to deploy additional military forces in Syria alongside France to allow the U.S. to withdraw its troops from the ongoing fight against the remnants of Daesh.

According to U.S. officials, the U.K. and France are expected to increase their special forces in the region by 10 to 15 percent, although the exact numbers remain secret.

As the journal Foreign Policy and The Guardian reported, this development was perceived as "a major victory… for Donald Trump's national security team" because few other countries had been willing to help out.

Yet, the U.K. and France's support seem to not be enough for the U.S. to secure the YPG's condition since another report by the Danish daily Politiken said that the U.S. also demanded Denmark send ground troops to Syria and provide military training to YPG terrorists ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 05, 2019, 11:20:09
Some of the latest (https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/turkey/turkey-to-conduct-military-operation-in-kurdish-controlled-syria-erdogan-says-1.7620243) from Turkey et. al. ...
Quote
Turkey will carry out a military operation in a Kurdish-controlled area east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, its third offensive to dislodge Kurdish militia fighters close to its border. 

Turkey had in the past warned of carrying out military operations east of the river, but put them on hold after agreeing with the United States to create a safe zone inside Syria along its northeastern border with Turkey that would be cleared of the Kurdish YPG militia*.

But Ankara has accused Washington of stalling progress on setting up the safe zone and has demanded it sever its relations with the YPG, Washington's main ally on the ground in Syria during the battle against Islamic State, but which Turkey sees as a terrorist organisation. 

Erdogan said both Russia and the United States have been told of the operation, but did not say when it would begin. It would mark the third Turkish incursion into Syria in as many years.

"We entered Afrin, Jarablus, and Al-Bab. Now we will enter the east of the Euphrates," Erdogan said on Sunday during a motorway-opening ceremony ...
* - This would be the militia at least several Canadians have reportedly joined to fight against ISIS.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Brihard on August 05, 2019, 16:01:18
Some of the latest (https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/turkey/turkey-to-conduct-military-operation-in-kurdish-controlled-syria-erdogan-says-1.7620243) from Turkey et. al. ...* - This would be the militia at least several Canadians have reportedly joined to fight against ISIS.

Indeed. Serving with the Kurds in the vicinity of the Turkish border is not a decision that can really be considered wise... Hopefully any Canadians in the beaten zone have the smarts to get out while they can. There's really nothing our government can do for them if the Turks capture them as combatants of a group they deem a terrorist insurgency.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 07, 2019, 21:58:27
Indeed. Serving with the Kurds in the vicinity of the Turkish border is not a decision that can really be considered wise... Hopefully any Canadians in the beaten zone have the smarts to get out while they can. There's really nothing our government can do for them if the Turks capture them as combatants of a group they deem a terrorist insurgency.
Things are looking up (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/07/syria-turkey-and-us-reach-deal-to-manage-tensions-over-kurds) -- for the moment, anyway ...
Quote
Turkey and the US have agreed to establish a joint operation centre to manage tensions between US-backed Kurdish militia and Turkish forces in northern Syria.

The announcement from the Turkish government came after three days of tense negotiations with US officials hoping to forestall a Turkish attack on the Kurdish YPG group, which controls large swathes of northern Syria.

Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdish PKK, which has fought a bloody insurgency inside its territory for the past 35 years.

The defence ministry said in a statement that Ankara had agreed with US officials to “implement without delay” the first measures aimed at eliminating Turkey’s concerns.

“In that framework, to quickly create in Turkey a joint operation centre to coordinate and manage the implementation of the safe zone with the US.”

Ankara has stepped up threats in recent days to launch an offensive against the YPG.

That put the United States in a difficult position as a Nato ally of Turkey but also a supporter of the YPG as its main frontline partner against the Islamic State ...
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 08, 2019, 01:53:50
Indeed. Serving with the Kurds in the vicinity of the Turkish border is not a decision that can really be considered wise... Hopefully any Canadians in the beaten zone have the smarts to get out while they can. There's really nothing our government can do for them if the Turks capture them as combatants of a group they deem a terrorist insurgency.

 :sarcasm:
Mind, if captured the could claim to be ISIS or Al Queda, then Canada would fly them here in a heartbeat, and give them seed money to buy a strip mall.
:sarcasm:
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Brihard on August 08, 2019, 02:16:51
:sarcasm:
Mind, if captured the could claim to be ISIS or Al Queda, then Canada would fly them here in a heartbeat, and give them seed money to buy a strip mall.
:sarcasm:

I’ll help with the luggage if they’ll pay OT.
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 08, 2019, 02:28:56
I’ll help with the luggage if they’ll pay OT.

I know, right?  :rofl:
Title: Re: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS
Post by: milnews.ca on August 25, 2019, 12:17:03
According to the attached report, Canada's in the top five of countries whose nationals are fighting against ISIS/Daesh in groups like the YPG, with about 1 out of 4 saying they're military vets (source (https://twitter.com/StewGlobal/status/1164876247090061313)).