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Paul McLoughlin

Three White Helmets workers and six children killed in Syria air raids

White Helmets workers are the first responders in Syrian opposition areas, saving thousands [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 November, 2017

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Heavy Syrian regime bombing has killed three emergency workers from the White Helmets, while six children were also killed in Damascus air raids.
Three rescue workers from the Syrian Civil Defence - better known as the White Helmets - have been killed in bombing in a besieged Damascus suburb, the group said on Friday.

The men were killed as they provided aid to civilians injured in bombing in Syria's Eastern Ghouta region, when the air strike took place.

Other workers from the rescue team were also injured in the attack, the group said, with four children and one man killed in earlier regime shelling.

"The civil defence [White Helmets] condemns the bombing and raids on the cities and towns of eastern Ghouta, which focuses on targeting civilian centres and aid workers," the group said in a statement.

"Today, the regime air force targeted [a] Syrian civil defence team [as they were] working in Douma city. Three volunteers were killed and most of the other volunteers were injured."

Siege Watch claimed the workers were targeted by a "guided missile", which follows routine "double tap" attacks on bomb sites as rescue workers attempt to save survivors.

Opposition Damascus suburb Eastern Ghouta has been subject to ferocious bombing and shelling by the Syrian regime this week.

At least six children were among 12 civilians killed in the district during bombing and shelling on Friday, Siege Watch reported. 

The White Helmets said that 45 people have been killed and 307 injured in three days of regime attacks on Eastern Ghouta. These include the use of 38 banned cluster bombs, drone attacks, hundreds of shells and five surface-to-surface missiles.

Eastern Ghouta is also subject to a horrific siege which is starving the civilian population and leaving them without desperately needed medical equipment and medicine, activists and NGOs say.

White Helmets volunteers are the first on the scene at sites hit by bombs and shells, with scores killed in subsequent attacks. The group are believed to have saved the lives of more than 100,000 Syrians injured in bombings.

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