• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Canadian Civilians Fighting ISIS (including threats to YPG)

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,856
Points
1,260
Robert0288 said:
.... 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.
Teager said:
Australia already has this law in effect. Maybe see how it works for them and use any lessons learned first.
Passed last fall- good catch.
 

Valhrafn

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Crantor said:
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.
 

Retired AF Guy

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
143
Points
710
From PostMedia, re-produced under the usual caveats of the Copyright Act. Another Canadian returning from fighting with the Kurds.

‘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).
 

Remius

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
3,204
Points
1,060
Valhrafn said:
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.
 

Stonegeneral

Guest
Reaction score
0
Points
60
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.
 

Remius

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
3,204
Points
1,060
Stonegeneral said:
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.
 

Kat Stevens

Army.ca Fixture
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,124
Points
1,060
Robert0288 said:
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.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,856
Points
1,260
Stonegeneral said:
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.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,856
Points
1,260
Another interesting point raised here with the proposed travel ban:
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.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,856
Points
1,260
milnews.ca said:
Another interesting point raised here with the proposed travel ban ....
And on the other hand ....
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 ....
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,856
Points
1,260
This, from VICE:
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."

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 ....
 

crowbag

Guest
Reaction score
0
Points
0
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…
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,856
Points
1,260
Oopsie ....
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.”

(....)
 

McG

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,397
Points
1,040
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

 

88rustang07

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
crowbag said:
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.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,856
Points
1,260
MCG said:
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, from the Observatory ....
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.
0000-1024x640.jpg
 

Tuan

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
milnews.ca said:
This, from the Observatory ....
0000-1024x640.jpg

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...
 

McG

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,397
Points
1,040
Tuan said:
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.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,856
Points
1,260
Remembered in the Ontario Legislature ....
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):
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.
 
Top