Kurds, Facebook post deny Canadian-Israeli woman captured by militants

Kurds, Facebook post deny Canadian-Israeli woman captured by militants
Iraqi peshmerga fighters left Iraq for the besieged Syrian town of Kobani on Tuesday to help fellow Kurds in their battle against Islamic State militants, a senior Kurdish official said.

OTTAWA - A Kurdish official in Syria denied on Monday previous reports that Canadian-Israeli Gill Rosenberg was captured by Islamic State militants and a Facebook message on her page read "I'm totally safe and secure." Rosenberg, 31, a civil aviation pilot who enlisted in an Israeli army search-and-rescue unit before being arrested in 2009, told Reuters in November she was in Syria.

A source linked to the YPG, the Kurds' dominant fighting force in northern Syria, said Rosenberg was their first female foreign recruit and had crossed into Syria to fight Islamic State militants.

Reuters was not immediately able to confirm whether Rosenberg posted the Facebook message herself.

But Idris Nassan, a local official in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, said his people in the field reported that she had not been captured and dismissed it as propaganda.

On Sunday, Israeli media reports, including Haaretz newspaper quoting a website associated with Islamic State, said Rosenberg had been captured. The reports cited jihadist websites and have not been confirmed by Israeli officials.

"Guys, I'm totally safe and secure. I don't have Internet access or any communication devices with me for my safety and security," read the post on Rosenberg's Facebook page on Monday."Ignore the reports I've been captured."

Canada has said it is "pursuing all appropriate channels" to try to verify reports that a Canadian citizen had been kidnapped in Syria.

"There are conflicting reports and whenever we get conflicting reports, I think the responsible thing to do is to get all the facts,"

Foreign Minister John Baird told reporters in London. "Obviously we have very limited capacity to do much in large swathes of this territory and that's the reason why we've issued the travel advisories (against going to Iraq and Syria)."

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