“To escape meant a dash across open ground over-watched by heavy ISIS firepower … There was no way to help them even though they were only 150 yards away.” -Dave Eubank.
George Thomas : Jun 12, 2017 : CBN News
(Iraq)—[CBN News] Dave Eubank says he knew the odds were against him. (Photo via CBN News)
“ISIS fire was intense as we approached the huddled group of three survivors,” Eubank recalled in an Instagram post.
On June 1st, Eubank, an ex-US Army Special Forces soldier, who runs a Christian humanitarian organization called Free Burma Rangers, got a call from an Iraqi unit that was fighting ISIS on the frontlines west of Mosul, Iraq.
“They said civilians coming, a lot (of them) shot,” Eubank told CNN.
He and members of the Free Burma Rangers are in Iraq helping civilians flee from ISIS-held areas.
The team jumped into action after they got the call.
“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.
The scene was horrific. At least 50 bodies lay massacred by ISIS fighters as they were trying to flee.
Eubank snapped a picture of the scene.
But moments after putting the camera down, he saw movement amongst the dead.
“We saw these 13 bodies and then we saw movement,” Eubank said.
He and his team were 150 yards away, but they were pinned down by ISIS fire.
“To escape meant a dash across open ground over-watched by heavy ISIS firepower,” Eubank described on the Free Burma Rangers’ website. “Our team could see that many had already been killed in the attempt but some were still alive.”
He knew we had to do something but also understood the risks.
“There was no way to help them even though they were only 150 yards away,” Eubank wrote. “They prayed and God opened a way.”
He put in a call to Iraqi and US military officials to see if they could help.
“We prayed and talked with Iraqi forces about how to do a rescue,” Eubank said. “We prayed more and called our American military friends.”
The help came. U.S. forces supporting Iraqis with air assets dropped a curtain of smoke on their location giving them just enough time to dash across that 150 yards.
“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.
He says he called the military to drop more smoke to give them more cover against ISIS fire. Using an Iraqi tank for cover Eubank and his team moved in for the rescue.
“The Americans sent it right on target, helping to obscure us as the tank fired its main gun and machine gun back at ISIS. I prayed on when to make the dash from behind the tank to the people.”
He sprinted across that open ground to where all the dead bodies were laying. Then suddenly, a girl peeked out from underneath a woman’s dead 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,” Eubank recalled.
With girl in hand, he now had to make the mad dash across that 150 yards.
“She was screaming, unwilling to let her mother go,” Eubank told CNN.
Again, 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,” Eubank added.
Members of the Free Burma Rangers were also able to pull a man from the scene that day.
Both the girl and the man were then rushed to an Iraqi hospital and are recovering. (Photo via CBN News)
The next day, Eubank returned to the location 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.
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 can be seen sitting on a bed watching CBN’s Superbook on a laptop.
“She spent that first night and next day with us,” Karen told CBN in an email.
On the Free Burma Rangers’ social media accounts, people responded with an outpouring of prayer and praise after the little girl’s rescue.
“Praying for your protection,” wrote Sam on Instagram.
“So much heartbreak,” wrote one follower. “Thank you for your courage and strength. You are always in my prayers.”
Dave Eubank ended his account of that day’s dramatic rescue this way:
“We thank God for American and Iraqi forces. A miracle, and I thank Jesus. Thank you for praying.”
Click here to view more photos (some of which may be disturbing for their graphic nature) and videos from the CBN News report.