A member of the American-backed group Free Burma Rangers, which is working to rescue the injured and displaced people near the frontline of the conflict in Syria, was killed overnight by a drone strike apparently controlled by Turkish forces.
Free Burma Rangers leader Dave Eubank confirmed that one of the longest serving rangers, Burmese national Zau Seng died instantly after explosives were dropped from a drone about 10 metres from their vehicle.
(2/2) We will continue to love and laugh as best we can and we will take care of your family.
We love you Zau Seng and will never forget your legacy and sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/TAXhrsHkVr
— Free Burma Rangers (@FreeBurmaRangrs) November 4, 2019
The group had been assembling at a forward casualty collection point to extract and treat the wounded from nearby fighting.
Seng was an assistant medic, and was acting as the Free Burma Rangers’ cameraman “to record these attacks from Turkey and from [pro-Turkish militia] the FSA [the Free Syrian Army]”, Eubank said in an audio message from Tel Tamr hospital, where his colleague died.
He had a wife, Lunu, and baby whose first birthday came on the day he died, Eubank said. Another Free Burma Rangers operative, Mohammed, was wounded in the same attack.
— David Eubank (@DaveEubankFBR) October 25, 2019
“Zau was standing for freedom and showing the world what was really happening,” Eubank said.
The attack happened about 4 kilometres north of Tel Tamr. A statement on the Free Burma Rangers website said, “The fighting continues and so we will continue providing medical care and telling the truth about what is happening here.”
Kurdish media source Rojava Information Centre said the Turkish forces had attacked health workers “throughout its invasion”. Trauma points and ambulances run by a group called the Kurdish Red Crescent had been struck several times, the information centre said, particularly in early October as the city of Ras al-Ain was being over-run by Turkish-backed proxy forces.