The Free Burma Rangers is a multi-ethnic christian charity organisation who risk their lives rescuing civilians.
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ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A member of the Free Burma Rangers was reportedly killed and another injured on Sunday when their team came under Turkish army mortar shelling in the village of Qasmiya in Tel Tamr.
The slain member is believed to be a Burmese national, while the wounded team member, an Iraqi, is receiving treatment at a hospital in Hasaka, according to Rudaw’s Roj Eli Zalla.
The Free Burma Rangers are a non-profit organization delivering emergency medical assistance to those in need in northern Syria, where Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish-led forces is currently in full force.
Spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mustafa Bali tweeted in response to the news, saying it was a Ranger medic who had been killed.
Just received terrible news of @FreeBurmaRangrs medic’s death after their car tergeted by Turkish army near Til Temir. They have been bravely putting their lives on the line to help wounded here. I’m so sorry. RIP hero. @DaveEubankFBR
— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) November 3, 2019
“Just received terrible news of @FreeBurmaRangrs medic’s death after their car tergeted by Turkish army near Til Temir. They have been bravely putting their lives on the line to help wounded here. I’m so sorry. RIP hero,” Bali wrote on Sunday evening.
David Eubank is the head and founder of the Rangers, established in war-torn Burma in 1997.
He detailed plans for last Friday’s operations in and around the town of Tel Tamr to Zalla.
“We’re going with some food and water and supplies to give to some kids, just a small group that have been displaced. And after we do that we’ll go back and check on the frontline and how we can help the medical situation there,” he said.
David’s shoulder was stained with the blood of an SDF fighter. He refused to wash away the blood, saying it was spilled in an unjust war caused by the US betrayal of Kurds.
Civilians who say their properties were looted in the town of Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain in Arabic) by Turkish-backed forces have ended up in a schoolyard in Tel Tamr without food supplies.
“We have not had anything in the past 18 to 20 days. This is the first time we have received supplies,” said Shirin Mustafa, an IDP from Sari Kani.
The organization has a branch in Kurdistan, now tasked with a mission in Rojava.
“As an international organization, we have come here to assist Kurds of Rojava, our brothers. We are on the frontline to rescue civilians and treat the wounded,” explained Dilshad Adil Yassin, head of the Free Burma Rangers branch in Kurdistan.
“We are the only organization coming from Kurdistan working on the frontline. We received a request to come to Rojava to extend assistance,” he explained.
Zalla joined the organization in their Friday mission. As soon as they arrived at a village close to Tel Tamr, Turkish-backed forces tried to besiege it.
“We are right in the middle of the fighting,” Zalla reported. “There is information that a number of Syrian Army soldiers have been wounded. In ambulances, they are rushing to the scenes to retrieve and bring back the wounded.”
Under heavy crossfire and attacks from the Turkish backed groups, the organization is doing its best to retrieve as many of the wounded as it can, before leaving the village.
There was Turkish armour, Turkish painted armour, three armoured vehicles, multiple infantry. There are many wounded, we’ve got in the back here, the team is treating them.
Trapped civilians are a treatment priority for the Rangers. Their rescue from danger and the bandaging of their wounds precedes treatment of injured soldiers.