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Oscar-winning Syrian rescue group says prize is inspiration

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/27/2017
FILE -- In this Nov. 30, 2016 file photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Civil Defense workers carrying a victim on a stretcher after artillery fire struck the Jub al-Quba district in Aleppo, Syria. Politics continued to pervade the Academy Awards Sunday as the 40-minute Netflix documentary "The White Helmets" took the best documentary short award. The denial of entry into the U.S. for the film's 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer put "The White Helmets" in the broader spotlight. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE -- In this Nov. 30, 2016 file photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Civil Defense workers carrying a victim on a stretcher after artillery fire struck the Jub al-Quba district in Aleppo, Syria. Politics continued to pervade the Academy Awards Sunday as the 40-minute Netflix documentary "The White Helmets" took the best documentary short award. The denial of entry into the U.S. for the film's 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer put "The White Helmets" in the broader spotlight. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP, File)

BEIRUT (AP) — The head of the Syrian search-and-rescue group featured in the Oscar-winning Netflix documentary "The White Helmets" says the award is an inspiration and a huge moral support for the volunteers to keep up their mission in the war-torn country.

Joanna Natasegara, left, and Orlando von Einsiedel, winners of the award for for best documentary short subject for "The White Helmets", pose in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Joanna Natasegara, left, and Orlando von Einsiedel, winners of the award for for best documentary short subject for "The White Helmets", pose in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Raed Saleh of the Syrian Civil Defense — known as "The White Helmets" — appealed on governments around the world "to stop the bloodshed of the Syrian people."

Speaking in a video released Monday in southern Turkey, he also quoted from the Quran: "Whoever saves a life - it is as if he has saved mankind entirely."

Saleh says the Oscar "will inspire our volunteers with the moral support to continue rescuing civilians in Syria."

The White Helmets did not have a representative at the Los Angeles Oscars ceremony.

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