It takes a special kind of soldier to fight in Iraq against ISIS, the terror group plaguing parts of the Middle East and beyond. Dave Eubank is one of those types of soldiers.
Having once been a part of the U.S. Army Special Forces, Eubank is trained for many combat and rescue situations. He used his skills to start the Free Burma Rangers, an organization dedicated to saving the lives of those in Burma. Eubank’s Christian faith also comes into play in the organization.
It was through Free Burma Rangers that Eubank found himself in Iraq near Mosul earlier this month. A group of soldiers battling ISIS needed some backup, and they believed Free Burma Rangers were the right ones for the job.
According to a statement to CNN, Eubank knew the situation was dire. “They said civilians were coming, a lot (of them) shot,” he said.
There was no way he and his organization could resist the call, so they made their way to Iraq posthaste.
Eubank talks of one civilian encounter: “We got there and a guy came crying, crying, he said, ‘My daughter was shot in front of me, her head was blown off.’”
Unfortunately, that was just a preview of what Eubank and his team were about to experience. As they ventured through Mosul, they saw bodies littered everywhere, murdered in their tracks. Many of them were piled up and clumped together.
Eubank couldn’t help it: he captured the sad, sobering moment on camera.
It was a good thing he studied the bodies for as long as he did, because if he hadn’t, he may not have noticed that one was still desperately clinging to life.
“We saw these 13 bodies and then we saw movement,” Eubank notes, awestruck.
His group had to help the seemingly lone survivor. They weren’t far, a mere 150 yards away, but they almost didn’t make it. ISIS began shooting at the group as they moved out in the open.
On the website for Free Burma Rangers, Eubank wrote an enthralling statement recalling his experiences that day. Here’s an excerpt:
“To escape meant a dash across open ground over-watched by heavy ISIS firepower…Our team could see that many had already been killed in the attempt but some were still alive…There was no way to help them even though they were only 150 yards away.”
Normally, this would have been another chapter in the ongoing harrowing tale of ISIS’ seemingly unending destruction. That’s not what happened this time. Holding tight to his Christian faith, Eubank noted a near miracle occurred that June day.
“They prayed and God opened a way,” he said.
Feeling empowered by his faith, Eubank wasn’t ready to give up. Instead, he grouped together with his team to formulate a plan.
“We prayed and talked with Iraqi forces about how to do a rescue…We prayed more and called our American military friends,” he stated.
At just the perfect time, U.S. forces arrived. They were airborne, and their arrival covered the open area in a shroud of smoke. The ISIS fighters were disoriented, unable to see the Free Burma Rangers.
Eubank knew that he and his team had to move fast, and that’s just what they did. They crossed the 150-yard gap, which must have seemed thrice longer than that. Although still disoriented by the smoke, ISIS fighters were still shooting at the group.
“ISIS fire was intense as we approached the huddled group of three survivors,” Eubank remembers. “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.”
Relying now on the U.S. troops to continue generating smoke, Eubank recruited an Iraqi tank for what he had to do next.
“The Americans sent it right on target, helping to obscure us as the tank fired its main gun and machine gun back at ISIS,” Eubank explained. “I prayed on when to make the dash from behind the tank to the people.”
As he did so, he found one more survivor, a little girl, hidden among the bodies.
To get her back to safety, Eubank knew he’d need another smokescreen, and that’s just what he got. The girl, as well as another man recovered at the scene, survived.
ISIS, known locally as Daesh, has seen its power diminish since U.S.-led coalition forces began stepping up military action against the Islamic terror group. Its hold on territories in Iraq, Syria and other locations has weakened, but the group still poses a unique threat to America and its allies.
~ 1776 Christian