Israeli-Canadian citizen Gill Rosenberg posted on Facebook on Monday evening that she was safe, dispelling reports that emerged on jihadist-linked media earlier this week of her abduction by Islamic State operatives.
“Guys, I’m totally safe and secure. I don’t have Internet access or any communication devices with me for my safety and security. I can’t reply regularly and only happened to have a chance to log in and see these buklshit [sic] news stories,” the message read.
“Ignore the reports I’ve been captured,” she seemingly wrote, before concluding with an Israeli army battle cry. “Yalla, Acharai!”
It is unclear who is running her Facebook page and posting statuses for her. Last week, she indicated in a post that we would be offline for some time and someone else would be running her page.
The first sign of life from the 31-year-old Tel Aviv resident came after a flurry of reports of her alleged capture near the embattled city of Kobani, in Syria, which both the Canadian and Israeli foreign ministries said they were investigating.
Doubts surfaced Monday over the kidnapping reports, as Kurdish sources told the NRG news site that they were aware of the “wave of rumors” that IS had captured an Israeli citizen in Kobani, presumably Gill Rosenberg, an IDF veteran who had traveled to Iraq to fight for the Kurdish YPG militia.
“This is false propaganda by IS,” the Kurdish sources said. “We can say with a high level of certainty that no Israeli volunteer, or any international volunteer for that matter, arrived to fight in the city of Kobani in Syria.”
They said she is meant to be training in the Kandil mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan, along with other international volunteers.
In addition, they said, international volunteers are not placed in combat roles, but instead support the front-line fighters.
The rumors of Rosenberg’s kidnapping were published on the Samoach al-Islam blog on Sunday, which largely operates as a mouthpiece for the Islamic State terror group, as well as by jihadists on Twitter.
The US-based monitoring group SITE said Islamic State jihadists claimed a woman described as a “female Zionist soldier” had been captured in the embattled Syrian border town.
Canada and Israel said Sunday that they were aware of the reports.
“The Government of Canada is aware of reports that a Canadian citizen was kidnapped in Syria,” a Foreign Ministry statement from Ottawa said. “Canada is pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information and officials are in close contact with local authorities.”
The ministry added that it would not “comment or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts and risks endangering the safety of Canadian citizens abroad.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said that the ministry was “watching with interest the various reports about the abduction of an Israeli woman by the Islamic State, and is trying to obtain more information on the matter.”
Rosenberg set out from her home in Tel Aviv on November 2, stopping in Amman before flying to Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Rosenberg told Israel Radio that she wanted to do her part for the Kurdish national struggle, and that she was hopeful her experience in the Israel Defense Forces would be useful to the Kurds.
AFP contributed to this report.