Author Topic: 1st North American Expeditionary Force, & Canadian civilians join ground fight against ISIS  (Read 85030 times)

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Offline Hamish Seggie

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She's unfortunately dead or soon to be.

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

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“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not".

Offline Thucydides

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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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline jollyjacktar

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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
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline Thucydides

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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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline WeatherdoG

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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.

Offline Thucydides

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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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline PMedMoe

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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


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
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Offline milnews.ca

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.... 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 ....
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:
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 ....
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.” ....
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Offline Jarnhamar

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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.
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Offline BorisK

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Ex-Canadian Solider fights along side Kurdish in Iraq
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2014, 16:29:41 »
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

Offline MCG

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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.

Offline Altair

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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.
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Offline jollyjacktar

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He is just towing the party line , did you honestly expect him to publicly say anything different?
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline milnews.ca

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I have read that "1 NAEF" has sent two more fighter this weekend ....
More on that here:
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.
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Offline tomahawk6

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More like the Legion of Frontiersmen.

Offline Jarnhamar

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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.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 14:44:33 by Jarnhamar »
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Offline Altair

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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
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Offline jollyjacktar

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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.
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline Colin P

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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. 

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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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.

Offline newshooter

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Canadian Dillon Hillier fights ISIL (merged)
« Reply #45 on: December 15, 2014, 16:25:06 »
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

Follow the link and read his story. Cheers.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
« Reply #46 on: December 15, 2014, 18:10:39 »
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

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.

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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
« Reply #47 on: December 15, 2014, 18:28:16 »
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.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
« Reply #48 on: December 15, 2014, 18:31:34 »
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. 
Optio

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help
« Reply #49 on: December 15, 2014, 19:48:03 »
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. 
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