Child and Man Rescued from ISIS
2 June 2017
West Mosul, Iraq
*WARNING: This report contains images that might be disturbing.*
Earlier today I sent out a prayer request for people trapped by ISIS in West Mosul. With God’s help, and Iraqi Army and police, and U.S. military, we were able to do the rescue. We saw over 50 shot dead by ISIS yesterday and today, and helped 30 shot people who managed to escape.
All last night people came crawling across the highway near the hospital near the first bridge. Early this morning we saw that at least four people were still alive including children, but ISIS controlled all access and swept the area by sniper, machine gun, mortar, and RPG fire. There was no way to help them even though they were only 150 yards away.
We prayed and talked with Iraqi forces about how to do a rescue. We prayed more and called our American military friends who coordinated smoke for us, while the Iraqis provided a tank from the Special Police Unit ERD, and we ran behind the tank down the street. Humvees could not go down the road due to all the obstacles and concerns that ISIS would knock them out.
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.
We asked for more smoke and 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. 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.
As the smoke dissipated ISIS fire intensified. We called for more smoke and the Americans sent it right away again. 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.
On the next run, Sky and Ephraim ran to help get two wounded who we could see were still alive. We made it back to the tank and our team – Sky, Ephraim, Mahmood, Monkey, and I – pulled the two men behind the tank as it rolled backwards. One of the wounded was lost on the way and Ephraim was shot in the leg. It was a through and through in his calf and he could keep running.
ISIS maneuvered and fired on us all the way back as we carried the people and ran behind the tank but the Iraqi tank saved us by its armor and fire, and American smoke was right on target. At the end of the highway our Humvee with Eliya and Bernard came and picked us up.
We evacuated Ephraim, the wounded man we had drug back, and the girl to 9th Division Iraqi Army CCP. All are doing well. The little girl will not talk but has smiled and is eating and drinking for the first time in two days. Ephraim is fine but will go to Irbil for more care, as will the man as he was seriously wounded and out in the sun for two days.
Karen and kids will stay with the little girl in the CCP while I and rest of team will go back now to see if we can save one of the men who was still alive and to see if there are any more survivors.
We thank God for American and Iraqi forces. A miracle and I thank Jesus.
Thank you for praying,