Rescue Under Fire and No Ceasefire

23 October 2019


Assad's forces in Tel Tamir
Assad’s forces in Tel Tamir

Dear friends,

This weekend we were able to go and get people out of Ras Al-Ein/Seri Kani and for that we thank God and all of you who made it possible. You can read more about those rescues on our website.

Every day, the Turkish-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA) attacks Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) positions. On Monday, an FSA/Turkish proxy force attacked SDF soldiers four kilometers south of Ras Al-Ein/Seri Kani. We were taking heavy machine gun fire from FSA gun jeeps and dismounted fighters on the assault shooting at our medical team as we moved forward to find a wounded SDF soldier. The FSA also has two captured Humvees that they used to help overrun the SDF position.

FSA troops were on three sides of us but we were able to get out. We prayed and along with some SDF soldiers circled around to try to penetrate the FSA lines to rescue the wounded man. Close to midnight, we found him crawling away from the FSA. We carried him out and then loaded him into our ambulance where Joseph, our Karen medic, and Jason, a volunteer, took care of him. We evacuated him to the Tel Tamir hospital and he survived. As I write this a new deal is being announced but we see no ceasefire yet.

The rescued Kurdish soldier.
The rescued Kurdish soldier.

While the airstrikes have stopped in our area, other attacks continue. There is no ceasefire here. The SDF are falling back and on Tuesday Assad’s troops and vehicles were visible coming into Tel Tamir and also heading west of Tel Tamir. Now there is fighting in Asadiya and I was told that earlier this morning, two SDF soldiers were killed and another one was captured by the FSA during an attack in Asadiya and Mushrafa.

There are also reports that the Russians and Turkey have made a deal at the expense of the Kurds. A Christian here told me, “The agreement of Turkey and Russia is terrible. They will destroy all our homes and kill us. In Turkey they have pictures of all us Christians and will kill us all. The Turks and their forces will wipe out the Kurds and the Christians.”

We will keep trying to help those who are wounded and displaced. Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we are in Syria.

God bless you,

Dave Eubank and the Free Burma Rangers