Posts

Eclectic Anti-ISIS Fighters Being Trained By U.S. Military

ypj

By Debbie Gregory.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Union, also known by the initials YPG, is a predominantly Kurdish militia taking up arms against ISIS. The YPJ, also known as the Women’s Defense Units, is the YPG’s female brigade, which was set up in 2012.

The Anti-ISIS fighters know firsthand the darkness that is ISIS. Most of the young fighters have lost family members and friends to the terrorist group.

But they are also aware of ethnic and other complexities facing the U.S. military as it seeks to develop a coherent and competent network of local Syria forces to defeat ISIS.

A small group of American military advisers works here with the YPG and other Syrian volunteers — mostly Arab men — who have taken up arms against this threat to both their country and their families.

The Americans said the number of Arab volunteers has surged this spring, following a series of battlefield gains against ISIS.

Rather than committing American forces, the U.S. strategy relies on training, organizing and advising local fighters for combat. Members of the YPG have said that by training to fight against ISIS, they have lost their fear of combat.

The U.S. has organized the fighters into a group it calls the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF. The SDF is comprised mostly of Syrian Kurds, numbering at least 25,000 fighters, with a smaller element of Syrian Arabs numbering perhaps 5,000 to 6,000.

Compared to other factions engaged in the Syrian Civil war, the YPG has not received significant foreign assistance in the form of weapons and military equipment.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

American Fighting Alongside YPG Killed: Military Connection

keith

By Debbie Gregory.

A former production manager who joined a Kurdish foreign brigade is believed to be the first American volunteer to die fighting Islamic State (ISIS).

Keith Broomfield was killed while fighting Islamic State militants in Syria. But Broomfield didn’t die in the ranks of the nation’s troops. He was killed while fighting members of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Union, also known by the initials YPG. Broomfield felt it was his destiny to go to Syria, believing that it was God’s will. His mother, Donna, said. “I didn’t want him to go but I didn’t have a choice in the matter.”

After a motorcycle accident left Broomfield with chronic pain, he rediscovered his faith and the pain went away, his father said. Later, he told his father he was called to fight in Syria.

“Keith got his heart straight and it was after that he said, ‘Dad I’m gonna go do this. I’ve seen what’s going on and it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I have to go do this,’” his father said.

“He turned his life over to the Lord and he decided this was God’s will and God wanted him to do it,” his mother added.

Friends described Broomfield, 36, as a car and motorcycle enthusiast who embraced his passions headlong.

A group of American Kurds attended the June 17th funeral to show their support.

“He passed away in our land for us,” said Abdul Tammo, of Hartford, Connecticut. “He supported us, so we’re here to support him.”

Broomfield’s sister, Jennifer shared her thoughts on her FaceBook page. “My brother died to defend my sisters who are being sold, enslaved, raped and murdered. To defend my brothers who are shot beheaded and dumped into piles off trucks.”

Numerous Americans are believed to have traveled overseas to join the YPG, in their fight against ISIS. However, Broomfield is believed to be the first U.S. citizen to die fighting alongside the YPG.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

American Fighting Alongside YPG Killed: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory