A FORMER US Special Forces soldier and current aid worker has been captured on camera braving ISIS gunshots to rescue a young Iraqi girl from the line of fire.
David Eubank, who works as an aid worker, was in the worn-torn northern Iraq city of Mosul when he saved the youngster’s life.
The 56-year-old, who founded the Free Burma Rangers, told Los Angeles Times he spotted the small child among bodies of dozens of civilians killed by ISIS snipers as they tried to flee.
Heart-stopping footage shows David – wearing a helmet and a bullet-proof vest – running through a hail of gunshots to grab the girl as two colleagues armed with machine guns provided cover.
He can be seen scooping the girl – who had her hair tied in pink ribbons – in his arms as scores of bullets fly around them.
The hero said he then went back to rescue another toddler but couldn’t find him among the bodies.
He said his crew also tried to rescue an injured man but he did not survive.
Recalling the dramatic rescue, David told Los Angeles Times: “I thought, “If I die doing this, my wife and kids would understand.”
At the time of the rescue, David was embedded with Iraqi troops with coordinated with the US-led coalition to drop smoke canisters to shield the rescuers from the ISIS snipers’ view.
His wife Karen was homeschooling their three kids ages 11 to 16, just a mile from the front line.
David set up Christian humanitarian group Free Burma Rangers in 1997 after retiring from the US army.
The former soldier took his family to Mosul after hearing horror stories of ISIS’s treatment of civilians.
He said: “I believe God sent me here, and I don’t think about security but I always ask myself if I’m doing it out of pride.”
The group aims to help people in conflict areas of Burma, Iraq and Sudan.
They do this by providing emergency medical care, shelter, food, clothing and human rights documentation.
It comes as US-backed Iraqi troops pushed into the last Islamic State stronghold in Mosul on Sunday.
They are launching a major battle for the Old City where some 150,000 civilians are believed to be trapped and risk being used as human shields by the extremists.
The fight for the Old City is the final major fight of an eight-month campaign to drive the militants from Iraq’s second largest city.
Extremists are expected to make their last stand in the densely populated quarter with narrow, winding alleys.
Iraq state TV aired live footage showing thick black smoke rising from the Old City, with the sound of gunfire rattling inside.
It said leaflets were distributed urging civilians to leave through five “safe corridors.”
The International Rescue Committee called on Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition to “do everything in their power to keep civilians safe during these final stages of the battle for Mosul.”
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