The Corner

Your Kurdish Superhero of the Week

This is quite a story — via Bridget Johnson at Pajamas Media:

After the ground offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS was launched in mid-October, Islamic State terrorists attacked Kirkuk, Iraq.

Nearly 90 civilians and Peshmerga were killed by ISIS in the surprise counterattack Oct. 21, which included suicide bombers and gunmen targeting police stations and a city power plant.

But the death toll could have been higher if one Kurd and his armored BMW hadn’t stepped in.

Ako Rahman, a member of the Peshmerga’s 116th Brigade in Tuz, volunteered to plunge into the fighting to save more than 70 people who had been wounded by ISIS, putting them in his own bulletproof car and rushing them to the hospital.


By the end of the rescue op, Rahman said his car had 50 to 60 bullet holes, many on the front end and windshield. He bought the Mad Max-mobile for $9,000 just four months ago; BMW has offered to give him a brand-new car and retire the heroic one to their company museum, but instead he’s giving the car to a local museum so that the symbol of Kurdish bravery will be on display for Kurds.

“The ISIS bullets were coming in my direction. I saw death with my own eyes. Yet, I did not stop what I was doing,” Rahman said. “I could not leave the wounded in limbo. The only thing I cared about was getting the wounded into my car and driving them to the hospital.”

News from the Iraq front is scarce. American eyes are largely turned elsewhere, but heroes deserve recognition, and Rahman is a hero by any measure. This is sheepdog behavior at its finest. 

I know that the Kurds often struggle with their own factionalism, and not every armed Kurdish group is worth supporting, but I shudder to think where we’d be in the fight against ISIS without them. In both Iraq and Syria, they’ve borne the burden of ground combat and have pushed ISIS back on a broad front. In a region where allies are hard to find, the Kurds have proven themselves time and again.

Finally, I had no idea a person could buy an armored BMW for a mere $9,000. Every family needs a Mad Max-mobile. Point me to the right website, and you have my undying gratitude. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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