Syria: Assad troops 'blow up leader of White Helmets rescue squad with thermal missile'

Assad troops have reportedly killed a regional leader of the White Helmets rescue squad

White Helmets rescue workers are seen carrying an injured person out of a building in Idlib. One of the group's regional leaders has reportedly been killed by pro-Assad troops

Monday, March 20, 2017

Troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have killed the leader of a White Helmets rescue team in the city of Daraa, according to local reports.

It is claimed that Adbullah al-Serhan Abo Yassin was "targeted" by pro-government forces and was blown up using a thermal missile.

The news has been reported by Syria-focused outlet Orient News, citing one of its own locally based reporters.

"We can confirm... that head of the office of the rescue group, Adbullah al-Serhan Abo Yassin was immediately killed," Moatesem al-Hassan, from the Orient News team in Daraa, said.  

The White Helmets, a volunteer-based rescue organisation, has sprung to prominence in recent months with its attempts to salvage civilians from the rubble left by the Syrian conflict.

White Helmets workers are often the first responders at the scene of an attack, and a documentary on the group won an Oscar last month.