Gunmen kill 7 White Helmets volunteers in Syria

White Helmets rescue workers carry victims of the car bomb attack to receive medical treatment at Sarakeb city, Idlib, Syria, on April 15, 2017. The White Helmets rescue organization said seven of its volunteers were shot dead by unknown gunmen at their operations center in the province of Idlib.Photo by STR/EPA

Aug. 13 (UPI) — Unknown gunmen in Syria have killed seven members of the Syrian Civil Defense volunteer rescue organization, known as the White Helmets.

The rescue organization shared a brief statement on Twitter, confirming the deaths of the volunteers at the group’s operations center in the city of Sarmin on Saturday morning.

“7 SCD volunteers were killed by unknown armed men in Sarmin SCD center, Idlib, in the morning,” the White Helmets said.

Founder of the White Helmets, Raed al-Saleh, also mourned the volunteers, who were all shot in the head execution-style, the Telegraph reported.

“The heart is saddened, there are tears in our eyes for you departure,” he said. “May God strengthen us and make us patient for facing this tragedy.”

The White Helmets asked northern Syrian checkpoints to detain any vehicles with their logo after the group said the attackers also stole two vans, helmets and walkie-talkies.

The organization, the subject of a film that won this year’s Academy Award for best documentary short, has been targeted in the past.

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