A female former IDF soldier has become the first Israeli to publicly join Kurdish forces battling against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the nation learned on Tuesday.
“I’m on the Iraq-Syria border, and we’re currently about 3,000 meters from ISIS,” Gill Rosenberg, 31,
told Israel Radio in a telephone interview from the battlefield. “I was given an RPG by the Kurdish army,” she said.
Rosenberg is a civil aviation pilot and served in an Israeli army search-and-rescue unit. She wanted to help with the fight against the militant Islamists and contacted the Kurds through the internet. “I found them via Facebook, and told them I wanted to volunteer, and went to Iraq,” Rosenberg said.
Hundreds of foreign fighters, including some Israeli Arabs who want to destroy the Jewish state, are joining ISIS. Rosenberg felt that enough was enough, and this brave young woman left Tel Aviv for the Syrian border to join the fight and help take down the radical jihadists now moving on Kurdistan.
ISIS is currently only about 20 kilometers from Erbil, the capital city of Kurdistan, where a small minority of Jews still live. Kurdistan lies at the heart of what was once the Assyrian Empire. It was there that the Assyrians took many Jews into exile during the times of the Prophets. Before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Jews still lived in the area.
In recent weeks, the small group of Jews who have remained in Kurdistan have asked Israel to provide them with aid, and to allow them to emigrate to the Jewish state, since they see no future in their current location. Most have fled their homes and headed for the mountains because of the fighting.
Rosenberg told Israel Radio that she felt she could contribute to the fight against ISIS in Kurdistan because of her military experience in the Israeli army.
Israel has maintained clandestine military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s.
Israel bans its citizens from traveling to enemy states, among them Syria and Iraq. It has been cracking down on Israeli Arabs who return after volunteering to fight with ISIS. Officials would not respond to a Reuters inquiry as to whether or not the Rosenberg could face prosecution when she returns to Israel.