Canadian-born Israeli Woman Joins Fight Against ISIS in Syria

31-year-old resident of Tel Aviv said she contacted Kurdish fighters over the Internet before traveling through Iraq to train at one of their camps on the Syrian border.

Dan Williams
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Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) prepare ammunition during clashes with forces loyal to the Islamic State in Elierbeh on Syrian-Iraqi border. Credit: Reuters
Dan Williams

REUTERS - A Canadian-born woman who emigrated to Israel and served in its military has joined Kurdish militants fighting ISIS, also known as the Islamic State insurgents in northern Syria, Israel Radio reported on Monday.

The Israeli citizen, identified by the station only as 31 years old and a resident of Tel Aviv, said she had contacted Kurdish fighters over the Internet before traveling through Iraq to train at one of their camps on the Syrian border.

"They are our brothers. They are good people. They love life, a lot like us, really," she told the radio station.

The woman was preparing to enter combat zones in northern Syria, Israel Radio said, where Kurdish fighters, many of them women, have been trying to fend off Islamic State militants.

The woman felt she could contribute from her Israeli military experience, the station said, without elaborating.

Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s, seeing in the minority ethnic group a buffer against shared Arab adversaries. The Kurds are spread through Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran.

Worried about spillover from the Syrian war, Israel has been cracking down on members of its 20-percent Arab minority who return after volunteering to fight with Islamic State or other rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule.

Israel bans its citizens from travelןng to enemy states, among them Syria and Iraq, and officials did not respond to a Reuters inquiry about whether the woman could face prosecution if she returns to Israel. 

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