The Syria Civil Defense volunteer organization, known as the "White Helmets," has declared an official mourning period in the rebel-controlled areas in north and northwestern Syria following the catastrophic earthquake that struck the country and parts of Turkey last week.
The group said they will fly the White Helmets flags at half-staff for seven days, starting Monday until February 20, to mourn the victims of the earthquake in both countries, according to a post on Twitter.
The White Helmets also said the operation "to recover bodies of the deceased in several places in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo on the eighth day since the deadly earthquake struck the region" would continue.
Some background: The volunteer organization, which formed in late 2012 during the Syrian civil war, operates in parts of rebel-controlled areas. The group's main tasks are medical evacuation, urban search and rescue in response to bombings, evacuation of civilians from dangerous places and other tasks.