In the video, three men with the Free Burma Rangers huddle behind a tank in the midst of fighting in Mosul, Iraq. Before them are bodies of dead civilians, gunned down by snipers fighting for the so-called Islamic State. Then, almost inexplicably, one man darts into the open as the other two lay down cover fire. Moments later he returns, with a scared-but-alive little girl.
The group is made up of mostly ex-military service members who’ve gone to Iraq, Sudan, and (as the name implies) Burma to offer aid and relief to the civilian population. Unlike other aid groups, such as the White Helmets or Doctors Without Borders, this group is armed.
However, former U.S. Special Forces Operative David Eubank wasn’t armed when he and his team approached an area where snipers for the so-called Islamic State were gunning down civilians, including children.
As Eubank told The Los Angeles Times:
“There was a woman sprawled on her face. Dead,” Eubank said. “A baby, all shot up. Dead. Near them, two old people. Dead. And then you realize all those lumps of rags were kids. Dead dead dead.”
Then, in the distance, Eubank noticed movement among a group of corpses clustered before a wall pocked by bullets: A half-naked toddler stumbled over the bodies; a girl of about 5 peeked from under the hijab of her dead mother; propped up against the wall, a wounded man waved for help.
The sniper fire continued, and the the survivors were 150 yards away. Eubank and some Iraqi troops quickly came up with a plan: Eubank would try to rescue the girl.
Once the girl was safe, Eubank went back for the wounded man and another child he spotted among the bodies, however neither of them survived their injuries.
In 2015, Eubank was the subject of a Vice News profile, but would not allow himself to be identified or photographed because the Government in Myanmar (formerly Burma) wanted rout his group from the country. He has since left that country to do his brand of work in Mosul, a city in the midst of a brutal fight between U.S. and Iraqi coalition forces and the soldiers in the death cult known as ISIS.
In a video posted to the group’s webpage Eubank says that he and his team are there to provide “spiritual–in Jesus’s name–support and medical support.” He said that whenever he meets an Iraqi, the first thing he does is apologize for America’s role in the near-constant war Iraqis have been surrounded by since 2003.
After serving for 10 years in the U.S. Special Forces, Eubank became a minister and it was after a request for help from a Burmese church that he and his family dedicated their lives to this effort. “If I die doing this, my wife and kids would understand,” Eubank told The Times after running headlong into sniper fire to save a child.
You can see the other video below, but there are graphic images:
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.