Gill Rosenberg

Report: Israeli-Canadian woman fighting Islamic State has been kidnapped by terror group

Online reports in jihadi and Palestinian forums claim Gill Rosenberg was captured by Islamic State group in embattled town of Kobani.

Gill Rosenberg, the Israeli-Canadian who joined Kurdish forces in their battle against the radical Islamic State terror group has allegedly been taken captive by the group, unconfirmed reports claimed.



The reports began surfacing on jihadi and Palestinian social media and forums, and claim Rosenberg was taken while fighting with the Peshmerga forces in Kobani, Syria.


Gill Rosenberg
Gill Rosenberg


Canada is trying to confirm reports that a Canadian citizen has been captured in Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.


"Canada is pursuing all appropriate channels" to seek further information and is in touch with local authorities, the spokesman said in a statement.


Rosenberg, 31, is a civil aviation pilot who enlisted in an Israeli army search-and-rescue unit before being arrested in 2009, extradited to the United States and jailed over an international phone scam, one of her former lawyers said.


Gill's story was first reported by Israeli radio. She recounted how smugglers helped her cross from Iraq into Syria in order to join the Kurdish ranks. "They (the Kurds) are our brothers. They are good people. They love life, a lot like us, really," Rosenberg said, explaining why she joined up after contacting the guerrillas over the Internet.


Rosenberg said that she had made contact with the Kurds through Facebook, asking them to allow her to join the Kurdish People's Protection Units, commonly known as the YPG.


Rosenberg immigrated to Israel from Canada in 2006, after studying at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and left behind a promising career as a pilot of Boeing planes for civilian airlines.


On her Facebook page, Rosenberg shared her plans for her mission in Syria two months in advance, when she uploaded a picture from Jerusalem showing an Israeli flag next to an Islamic State flag, and continued posting images until November 1 - her final day in Israel.


She then promised to upload pictures of herself wearing the uniform of the Kurdish forces. "As soon as the tailor finishes customizing my uniform, I'll post the pictures," she wrote. The next day, she posted a picture of her red boots. "It's been a long time, but it feels great to wear them again."


She later posted pictures from Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, and then from Erbil International Airport in Kurdistan. On November 9, she uploaded images from the Kurdish region of Syria and wrote, "In the IDF (Israeli army), we say 'aharai', After Me. Let's show ISIS (Islamic State) what that means." A friend wrote, "Take care of yourself, friend. You are one strong woman, and you'll destroy the Islamic State."


A source in the Kurdistan region with knowledge of the issue said Rosenberg was the first foreign woman to join YPG, the Kurds' dominant fighting force in northern Syria. She has crossed into Syria and is one of around 10 Westerners recruited by YPG, the source said.


Rosenberg could not be reached by Reuters for comment. A source provided an Iraqi Kurdistan cellphone number for her, but it was turned off on Tuesday.


Michal Margalit  and Reuters contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 11.30.14, 15:58
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