By on November 7, 2016

peshmerga bmw kirkuk

In the many wars spanning the globe, a variety of vehicles have been pressed into military service by insurgents and militias alike, most notably the venerable Toyota Hilux. More recently Chinese compact pickups have appeared on battlegrounds, and even one Texas plumber’s Ford F-250 turned up in the hands of some bad guys.

Now comes word that, on October 21, a heroic Kurdish Peshmerga fighter used his bulletproof E32 BMW 7 Series as a military ambulance to save up to 70 people.

Ako Abdulrehman made repeated trips under ISIS sniper fire to save fighters and civilians wounded during the militants’ attack on the Kurdish city of Kirkuk.

Islamic State fighters attacked several locations in the city that day, but before they were pushed back by police and security forces, almost 90 people were killed and over 200 injured. Ako, whose first name means “servant of the merciful,” was on a mission near southern Kirkuk when he heard of the attack.

peshmerga bmw kirkuk

He told BasNews, “After we arrived at the scene, we saw many wounded individuals among the security forces and civilians and no one was able to approach them due to the IS snipers. Therefore we decided to help those wounded people since bullets could not penetrate my car.”

Four months earlier, Ako had bought the bulletproof BMW for $9,000. The extent of its armoring isn’t known but from the looks of it, the glass had been substantially upgraded.

All day long and into the night, Ako ferried Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs wounded in the fighting or by crossfire to a hospital.

“My aim was to prevent any captives, wounded or martyrs falling into ISIS’ hands,” the Peshmerga fighter said. “What really made me sad,” though, was that “many of the wounded, we reached them too late and they bled to death.”

peshmerga bmw kirkuk

“Sadly, one injured person died on the way to the hospital although he was lightly wounded, but he had not been transferred to hospital soon enough.

“There are marks from 50 to 60 bullets on the body of my car and many of them hit the front and the windshield of the car,” Ako told He added: “The ISIS bullets were coming in my direction. I saw death with my own eyes. Yet, I did not stop what I was doing. 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.”

The brave BMW eventually succumbed to the firepower, but Ako says BMW is willing to give him a new car in exchange for putting his trusty E32 in the automaker’s museum. BMW Cihan of Baghdad has also offered to repair the 7 Series sedan but Ako instead is going to give his car to a Sulaymaniyah museum to go on display as a symbol of the bravery of the people of Kirkuk.

(Perhaps due to transliteration, there is some confusion about the Kurdish BMW owner’s name. calls him Ako Abdulrehman. identified him as “Ako Aburrahman, known as Ako Duzi.”)

[Images: Belal Qardaxe Photography, BasNews]

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17 Comments on “Peshmerga Fighter Uses Bulletproof BMW 7 Series to Save 70 Under ISIS Sniper Fire...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Reminds me of the brave Dustoff (Dust Off) pilots of the Vietnam War.

  • avatar

    Massive respect for that guy. Awesome car too. Armored W140s were the norm in Moscow in the 90s.

  • avatar

    Yes, sir…she really is built like a Tank

    • 0 avatar

      I’m surprised the front windows could roll down that much on an armored BMW. The ones I worked on (going as far back as the 3rd generation E38’s) lowered just enough to let a driver slip his ID card out to a guard.

      But yes, they are built like Tanks

  • avatar

    This true story would make an excellent – if politically charged – TV commercial.

  • avatar

    First off. Bravo Sir. The word Hero gets abused so much that it has lost its meaning but you sir are one.

    Second. I wonder if BMW is offering him a new armored/ modified car similar to what he has. If so kudos to them. If they are offering a garden variety car then not so much.

    The UH-1s our brave dust off pilots flew didn’t offer near the protection this car did. Nor do modern helicopters. Some Kevlar seats and better vest but the windows are still useless against bullets…..or rocks. The mid window between the gunner and pilot in the Apache will stop most bullets, but not before they pass through the copilot/gunner.

    • 0 avatar

      “Second. I wonder if BMW is offering him a new armored/ modified car similar to what he has. If so kudos to them. If they are offering a garden variety car then not so much.”

      If they don’t, he could probably sell the new car for enough to buy another lightly-shelled armored BMW.

    • 0 avatar

      If BMW is offering him a new car it is a generous offer; used bulletproof cars are not worth much (Iraq and Syria may be an exception to that). I worked for a guy who bought a used 12+ year old bulletproof Mercedes and figured it would be an easy flip; wrong. The armoring and heavy glass adds a LOT of weight to the car making it no fun to drive, gives miserable fuel economy, and beats the heck out of the drive train. Unless you are a drug dealer or despot you don’t need a bulletproof car, and if you are a successful drug dealer/despot you don’t want to be seen in an aged ride.

      Ako is a very brave guy, and BMW was kind to offer him a new ride for his heroism.

  • avatar

    Great piece Ronnie.

  • avatar

    My point is not the dollar value of the car. Clearly a new BMW is worth more in dollars and cents. However, to this guy,a new BMW no matter how expensive would have gotten him killed if it not for the mods. I suppose as one poster suggested he could sell it and buy a used armored car and lots of spare tires.

  • avatar

    Good grief, $9k over there?! Time to do some Art VanDeLay work.

    Great story though, a very brave man.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Well, I’ll be darned. The elusive proof we have been looking for that proves the statement BMW onwer’s are D-bags is in fact false!

    Good on him, and BMW for stepping in once he expired his ride.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Read up more on Peshmerga, these guys are the real deal. These are the moderate Muslim rebel group the US has been looking for. Maybe establishing a state of Kurdistan in the same manner as Israel isn’t a bad idea.

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