The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Syria's White Helmets nominated for Nobel Peace Prize Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Syria's White Helmets nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

The White Helmets' nomination comes after a difficult week that saw rescue missions intensified [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 August, 2016

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
The group of volunteers who brave daily bombings to carry out search and rescues missions across war-torn Syria have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

A group of volunteers who carry out search and rescue operations inside rebel-held bombarded territories in Syria have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Syrian Civil Defence units, also known as the White Helmets, have been recognised for saving around 60,000 people facing bombardments by the Syrian regime and Russian war planes since 2013.

The White Helmets have received backing from more than 130 international organisations to win the prestigious global peace prize.

The Syria Campaign, a global advocacy group calling for the protection of civilians in Syria, has launched an online initiative backing the White Helmets for the prize.

The campaign helped bring to the world's attention to the work of the volunteers from the White Helmets, who could not sit and watch people die under the rubble. Instead they chose to work endlessly to save lives on all sides of the conflict.

The volunteers, compromising of former bakers, tailors, engineers, pharmacists, painters, carpenters, students and many more, have pledged their commitment to the principles of "humanity, solidarity, impartiality" as outlined by the International Civil Defence Organisation.

Volunteers have grown from 20 to around 2,900 members [Getty]

"In a place where public services no longer function, these unarmed volunteers risk their lives to help anyone in need – regardless of their religion or politics," the White Helmets say.

They have grown from 20 to around 2,900 members but have lost dozens of their volunteers during rescues missions, including most recently, Khaled Omar Harrah.

Harrah, best known as the rescuer in the "Miracle Baby" video who spent 14 hours digging through cement to rescue baby Mahmoud, was killed earlier this week during a rescue mission in Aleppo.

The White Helmets' nomination comes after a difficult week that saw rescue missions intensified as air raids continued to fall over besieged and desperate parts of Syria.

The Nobel Prize winner will be announced on October 7.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More