Syria's White Helmets say volunteer killed by regime missile
The first responder was killed "while conducting inspections in areas that had been targeted by artillery shelling from regime forces", the group posted on Twitter.
It said Abdul Basset Ahmed Abdel-Khalek "fell victim to a missile deliberately aimed at the rescue team's car in southeast Atarib", west of Aleppo.
Amidst sorrow and tears, we gathered today to bid a final farewell to White Helmets volunteer Abdul Basit Ahmed Abdel-Khaleq, who met his martyrdom on the fateful evening of Tuesday, July 11. He fell victim to the devastating impact of a double-tap strike carried out by the… pic.twitter.com/dO9sRqqgwz— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) July 11, 2023
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a wide network of sources on the ground in Syria, said the volunteer was killed by a "guided missile fired by regime forces".
More than four million people live in rebel-controlled areas of north and northwest Syria, an area hard hit by a huge earthquake in February that had its epicentre in southern Turkey.
The Observatory said that since the beginning of the year, 243 people including 16 civilians have been killed in the region despite a ceasefire negotiated by Russia and Turkey after a regime offensive in March 2020.
Syria's war broke out in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
It later evolved into a complex conflict involving jihadists and foreign powers and has killed more than half a million people and displaced millions.
Drawing on experience acquired during Syria's war, the White Helmets rescuers were also able to help victims of the February earthquake which claimed tens of thousands of lives in Turkey and Syria.
Hundreds of White Helmet rescuers have been killed during the war.