Thousands of civilians on Sunday demonstrated in many towns and villages across Syria to condemn the killing of seven members of the Syrian civil defense in the town of Sarmin in rural Idlib. Protestors expressed full solidarity with the volunteer group which rescued tens of thousands of people from rubble after airstrikes by the Assad regime and its allies on the rebel-held areas.
Civil groups and civil society organizations held vigils across Syria for the seven rescue workers who were shot dead by unknown assailants in Sarmin on Saturday. The Office of Women’s Affairs and Child Welfare in the village of Atmah in northern rural Idlib held a vigil in the border town, carrying signs that stressed the important work of the civil defense.
Rescue workers across Syria also staged protests against the killing of colleagues, raising placards that indicated they would carry on with their humanitarian work despite all difficulties.
Bashar Kayyal, Director of the children’s hospital in the Jabal al-Zawiya area in northern Idlib held the Assad regime and its allies full responsibility for the crime, calling for holding perpetrators of the crime to account.
The Syrian Coalition condemned “the heinous crime” against members of the civil defense, stressing that it was closely following the situation.
“The Coalition will do everything possible to reveal details of the crime and expose the perpetrators,” the Coalition said in a press release issued on Saturday. “Perpetrators of the crime will eventually face justice and receive the punishment they deserve along with everyone whose hands are stained with the blood of innocent civilians.”
The Syrian civil defense, globally known as the White Helmets, is a non-partisan volunteer group whose members work in the liberated areas to help victims of the bombardment by the Assad regime and its allies as well as to document the victims.
The White Helmets group rose to prominence when it was nominated for a Nobel peace prize. A film on the volunteers work won the 2017 Oscar for best short documentary, and won the 2016 Alternative Nobel peace prize. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)