Over the past several months, Faithwire has been documenting the efforts of the Free Burma Rangers, a Christian organization seeking to help victims of Islamic extremism in the Middle East and beyond.
In an Instagram post shared earlier this week, FBR’s David Eubank described an incredible rescue that took place in West Mosul, Iraq.
Yesterday, our team in West Mosul worked to rescue civilians who were trapped by ISIS fire and were sitting among the bodies of civilians already killed by ISIS. “ISIS fire was intense as we approached the huddled group of three survivors. They were in and amongst over 50 dead bodies spread out along the street – dead babies, mothers, and people of every age – and had been like this for two days in the blazing sun and ISIS shooting.” For more on the rescue, see the link in profile. Warning: This report contains disturbing images. #freetheoppressed #mosul #iraq #ISIS #war
“ISIS fire was intense as we approached the huddled group of three survivors,” Eubank recalled.
Eubank, an ex-US Army Special Forces soldier, received a call earlier this month from an Iraqi unit that was fighting ISIS on the frontlines west of Mosul, CBN News reported.
“They said civilians coming, a lot [of them] shot,” he told CNN Tuesday.
Eubank and his team have been involved in several deadly, though successful, rescue operations in Iraq.
As soon as Eubank received the call on June 1, the FBRs headed to the scene of the carnage. Once there, they discovered at least 50 bodies, all murdered by ISIS fighters as they tried to flee.
“We got there and a guy came crying, crying, he said, ‘My daughter was shot in front of me, her head was blown off,'” Eubank recalled.
He captured a photo of the horrific scene:
— Free Burma Rangers (@FreeBurmaRangrs) June 3, 2017
Moments later, however, he began to see movement — signs of life among the dead bodies.
“We saw these 13 bodies and then we saw movement,” he said.
But rescuing the remaining survivors would not be easy. Though they were 150 yards away, Eubank and his team would have to dodge ISIS fire in order to reach them.
“To escape meant a dash across open ground over-watched by heavy ISIS firepower,” Eubank said on the Free Burma Rangers’ website. “Our team could see that many had already been killed in the attempt but some were still alive.”
Though the risk of death was imminent, Eubank was compelled to act. But then, something amazing happened.
“They prayed and God opened a way,” he said.
Eubank called Iraqi and US military officials to request aid.
“We prayed and talked with Iraqi forces about how to do a rescue,” he said. “We prayed more and called our American military friends.”
The team’s calls were answered. According to CBN, U.S. forces “dropped a curtain of smoke on their location,” affording the FBRs just enough time to sprint the 150 yards and begin their rescue.
“ISIS fire was intense as we approached the huddled group of three survivors. They were in and amongst over 50 dead bodies spread out along the street — dead babies, mothers, and people of every age — and had been like this for two days in the blazing sun and ISIS shooting,” Eubank wrote on Instagram.
This past weekend our team in Mosul, Iraq, received news of civilians trapped by ISIS and hiding among the bodies of those already massacred by ISIS as they were trying to flee. We’ve shared just some of the photos from the rescues and of those our team met- both living and dead. We prayed and God opened a way that with US smoke and a Iraqi tank the team was able to run behind and rescue two people initially and then seven people the next day, despite having no tank. For more information about those rescues, the situation in Mosul, and for video, please check out the CNN link in profile which includes FBR photos and video footage. #freetheoppressed #iraq #mosul #IDP #ISIS #children
With the help of additional smoke from American forces, Eubank and his team moved in on the survivors, using an Iraqi tank for cover.
“The Americans sent it right on target, helping to obscure us as the tank fired its main gun and machine gun back at ISIS,” he wrote. “I prayed on when to make the dash from behind the tank to the people.”
As he rushed to search for any remaining signs of life, a little girl suddenly peeked out from underneath a dead woman’s body.
“I saw a little girl come out from under her dead mother’s hijab and we called to her and two men who were wounded and still alive yet unable to come,” he recalled.
Eubank then faced the difficult task of running back across the same 150 yards, this time while carrying the child.
“She was screaming, unwilling to let her mother go,” Eubank told CNN.
Again, for the third time, he called for more smoke.
“The Americans sent it right away again,” Eubank said. “I prayed and felt now or never and that if I died my family would understand that it was to save a little girl.”
“I ran as fast as I could, snatched up the little girl from her mother and the pile of dead bodies, and made it back to the tank. ISIS was shooting all the time but so was the Iraqi tank,” he added.
The Free Burma Rangers also pulled a man from the scene that day. Both the girl and the man are recovering at an Iraqi hospital.
Eubank and his team returned to the location the next day and saved seven more people.
“More than 70 lay dead all around these survivors — men, women, children, elderly, crippled — no one was spared,” Eubank said.
CBN reported that Eubank’s wife, Karen, and their children are also in Iraq helping those fleeing ISIS. Karen Eubank sent CBN a picture of the little girl they rescued:
“She spent that first night and next day with us,” Eubank told CBN in an email.
David Eubank ended his post recalling the child’s amazing rescue with the following remarks:
“We thank God for American and Iraqi forces. A miracle, and I thank Jesus. Thank you for praying.”
(H/T: CBN News)