A retired U.S. Special Forces operative who is now an aid worker recently saved a little girl from Islamic State gunfire in western Mosul, Iraq, and it was all captured on video.
David Eubank, 56, an aid worker with the Free Burma Rangers, a volunteer services organization, works with Iraqi forces in Mosul and provides aid to civilians who have been caught in ISIS’ grasp, the Los Angeles Times reported.
On a recent Friday morning, Iraqi troops and Eubank spotted a group of civilians near the ruins of a former Pepsi factory. Most of the civilians were lying on the ground dead, shot from the day before.
“There was a woman sprawled on her face. Dead,” Eubank told the Times. “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.”
A few survivors sat against a wall as ISIS snipers fired those fleeing the neighborhood.
“Then, in the distance, Eubank noticed movement among a group of corpses clustered before a wall pocked by bullets,” the Times reported. “A half-naked toddler stumbled over the bodies; a girl of about five peeked from under the hijab of her dead mother; propped up against the wall, a wounded man waved for help.”
After U.S.-led coalition forces dropped smoke canisters to form a wall to conceal Eubank and his fellow rescuers, he made a run for it. As American colleagues provide cover fire next to a tank, Eubank ran toward the girl, picked her up, and ran bank to the cover of the tank with the girl under his right arm.
“I thought, ‘If I die doing this, my wife and kids would understand,'” he said.
Eubank went back to try to find a toddler the group saw, but the toddler was no longer there. They believe the child was killed by ISIS.
The girl was then taken to the safety of the clinic his wife works at as part of their work running the Free Burma Rangers, which captured the video.
Eubank considers what he is doing to be part of missionary work he has been involved in for years. Eubank’s parents were Christian missionaries and after almost ten years in the military, Eubank entered the Fuller Theological Seminary, a non-denominational institution in Pasadena, Calif. Eubank is joined overseas by his wife, Karen, and their three children.