Seven res­cue work­ers killed in IS-held Syria town

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Beirut, Le­banon - Uniden­ti­fied as­sailants shot dead seven mem­bers of Syria’s White Hel­mets res­cue ser­vice early on Satur­day dur­ing a raid on their base in an ex­trem­ist-held north­west­ern town, the group said.

The at­tack­ers struck in the town of Sarmin, 9km east of the city of Idlib, that is con­trolled by the Hayat Tahrir al Sham ex­trem­ist al­liance.

‘The civil de­fence cen­tre in Sarmin was the tar­get of an armed at­tack by unknown as­sailants in which seven vol­un­teers were killed’, the White Hel­mets said in state­ment.

‘Two mini-buses, some white hel­mets and walkie-talkies were stolen’. It was not im­me­di­ately clear whether the mo­tives for the raid were po­lit­i­cal or purely criminal. The Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said the seven vol­un­teers had all been killed by bul­lets to the head.

“Col­leagues came in the morn­ing for the change of shift and found them dead,” its direc­tor, Rami Ab­del Rah­man, said.

The White Hel­mets emerged in 2013, work­ing to res­cue civil­ians in rebel-held ar­eas.

23 rebel fight­ers killed in blast

On Fri­day, at least 23 rebel fight­ers were killed and dozens more wounded in a sui­cide blast in south­ern Syria near the bor­der with Jor­dan, the Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said. It said the bomber det­o­nated an ex­plo­sive belt at a base used by Jaish al Is­lam near the Na­sib bor­der cross­ing.

“Most of the 23 rebels killed were from Jaish al Is­lam. Dozens were wounded, in­clud­ing 20 in crit­i­cal con­di­tion,” said ob­ser­va­tory head Rami Ab­del Rah­man.

There was no im­me­di­ate claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity, but ter­ror­ists linked to the IS have at­tacked rebels in south­ern Syria.

The Na­sib bor­der cross­ing was cap­tured by rebel groups in April 2015.


Mem­bers of White Hel­mets bury their com­rades, in Sarmin, 9km east of the Syr­ian city of Idlib on Satur­day (

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