Painting honors slain Arizona aid worker Kayla Mueller

Arizona Republican leaders joined the family of Kayla Mueller on Oct. 8 to unveil a painting honoring the humanitarian worker from Prescott who was kidnapped in Syria, held captive and killed.

The artwork was revealed at 2:00 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Goldwater Air National Guard Base. It will be transferred to the Arizona State Capitol for public view.

Carl Mueller said the painting is a tribute to his daughter and the U.S. servicemembers who killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader who held Kayla Mueller captive. He was killed in a raid in 2019.

The painting by artist Stuart Brown is called “into the breach.” It depicts special forces operatives breaching the wall of a compound during a raid. 

Kayla was 26 years old when she was captured leaving a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, working as a humanitarian aid worker in 2013. Officials said al-Baghdadi had taken Mueller as a "wife" and sexually abused her throughout her captivity.

The Muellers have been outspoken supporters of President Donald Trump, whom they praise for his attempts to rescue Mueller and for ordering the raid that killed al-Baghdadi. They were guests of Vice President Mike Pence at a debate Wednesday night and flew to Phoenix on the vice presidential aircraft, Air Force 2.

Gov. Doug Ducey and Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien spoke at a ceremony at an Arizona Air National Guard hangar at the airport in Phoenix. U.S. Sen. Martha McSally sang the national anthem.

“With compassion as her shield and love as her only weapon, Kayla Mueller was a warrior in every sense,” Ducey said. “Comforting the anguished and serving as a light in the darkness.”

This news comes after it was announced two ISIS members arrived in the U.S. to face charges for the deaths of four American citizens who were taken hostage, including Mueller.

Kayla Mueller's parents speak out in wake of Trump announcement of Islamic State leader's death

The raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdhadi, was named in honor of Kayla Mueller, the humanitarian worker from Prescott who was kidnapped and held hostage before being killed in Syria. Her parents are speaking out following the news. 

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