This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Some Return Alive, Others Dead

"I'm relieved to know that it was  him. On the other hand I was pretty depressed to find out from the autopsy that was done in Iraq what had happened to his body."
"Knowing that he was coming home, a different feeling came over me, that it's time to get back to work."
"All my questions have been answered."
Tina Martino, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Nazzareno Tassone (right) with YPG unit, December 2016, wpmedia.nationalpost.com
"The cause of their death is rather nebulous. They seemed to be on an advanced post on the frontline when they were attacked at night."
"The Islamic State would have taken the position, which would explain why they were in possession of the bodies. Everything seems to indicate that the YPG have paid to get the bodies back."
Guillaume Corneau, Laval University, Qu├ębec 
"I spoke to him regularly while he was there and I can tell you that he was motivated by a desire to do something about the scourge of ISIS and was inspired by other Canadians who had done so."
"[He was] basically functioning as a infantryman. He was equipped with an AK type of rifle and MARPAT (Marine pattern) cammo gear. He was involved in the fight for Manbij and spoke of losing several friends to suicide bombers."
"He expressed great pride in becoming a sniper and, as of when we last spoke, had 20 confirmed kills."
"As far as I understand it there was a large Daesh (ISIL) attack, he fought, and was killed."
Webster, Tassone acquaintance

A number of Canadians, some of them former military, have over the past few years, left Canada to join the fight against Islamic State, fighting alongside Kurdish forces. One of them was 24-year-old Nazzareno Tassone, who informed his family that he meant to travel to Iraq from Calgary in June of 2016 to teach English there. Instead he furtively slipped into Syria to fight with the YPG.

He was there, fighting alongside his Kurdish friends for six months before he and another Westerner were killed on December 21 near Raqqa, the proclaimed 'capital' of the Islamic State in Syria. But his body was retained by the Islamic State forces for six months. Eventually his body was released and ended up with the Kurdish unit he fought with, who mourned his death as one of their own.

It was arranged to send his body back to Canada. The Kurdish Peoples Protection Unit spoke of Nazzareno Tassone who fought with them as a martyr, a hero. And they were pleased to know that on his return to Canada he would be honoured when his casket was driven along the Highway of Heroes.

That ritual of honouring Canadian soldiers began spontaneously during the time that Canada had its military stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan as part of the NATO and UN coalition forces fighting the Taliban. It has since formally become a recognized and worthy ritual of respect and recognition of the sacrifice for freedom made by Canadian soldiers.

It is supremely fitting that this man who sacrificed himself in the international conflict against the Islamist jihadists who have roiled the Middle East and east Asia to North Africa and on into Europe and North America be recognized as a soldier of courage and determination in his personal decision to defend against the dark forces of violent savagery.

Now Tina Martino is preparing to give her son a funeral and to bury him at home. Her son had left a year earlier. She had been informed six months later by the YPG unit with which he was embedded and volunteered to fight on the front lines that ISIL terrorists had possession of her son's body. Six months later, in May of 2017, they managed to recover Nazzareno Tassone's body to make arrangements to transport him home.

His mother received autopsy results conducted in Iraq. That report came to the conclusion that her son hadn't died of a gunshot wound as she had been informed, but from a blow to the head. His body also had suffered broken bones.There were cigarette burns to his body and face, and it was clear that he had been bound, from the marks on his body.

But that same autopsy report described her son with a different colour of hair, taller than he was and a decade older. Only when another autopsy was conducted in Canada, when the coroner's office confirmed the body to be that of her son was she convinced that he had finally returned home.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet