Author Topic: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS  (Read 83162 times)

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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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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/

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

« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 14:14:55 by kratz »

Offline Flavus101

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This is a link to their facebook page: Click Here

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

Link


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.

Offline jollyjacktar

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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

Offline jeffb

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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.
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Offline MCG

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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

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.... 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:
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

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Offline Greymatters

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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



Offline Eagle Eye View

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“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?
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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.
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Offline dapaterson

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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).
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Offline Cloud Cover

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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 
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Offline Old Sweat

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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.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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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. 

Offline Cloud Cover

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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!!!]   
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Offline Cloud Cover

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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.
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Offline Retired AF Guy

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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.
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Offline Cloud Cover

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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. 
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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. 
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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.

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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.

Offline jollyjacktar

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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

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She's unfortunately dead or soon to be.
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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