A Syrian opposition-run media outlet posted a message on Twitter Friday that included a video apparently showing two volunteer rescue organizers performing the viral video stunt known as "The Mannequin Challenge."
The Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) media channel shared the tweet, which has since been deleted, along with the the words "Edge of death" in English and Arabic and accompanied by the hashtags #MannequinChallenge and #RFS. The video depicts three men, two of them wearing uniforms associated with the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as "the White Helmets," a non-governmental volunteer rescue organization. A third man is seen wearing dust-covered civilian clothing and partially stuck in rubble from a presumed air strike.
As per the rules of the popular viral Internet video, the three men remain motionless for the first half of the video. About 25 seconds in, yelling and screaming is heard as the two men dressed as aid workers pull the a man out of the debris. After successfully extracting him, one of the uniformed men says, "We're done, let's go, grab the car," in Arabic as the pair carries the man away to the sound of an ambulance.
RFS told International Business Times they were preparing a statement explaining the situation Tuesday. The White Helmets have not responded.
The tweet was shared Monday by Damascus resident and university student Lina Arabi. A number of social media users reacted with outrage, some speculating on the authenticity of the video. The White Helmets state they are a neutral, unarmed volunteer organization that deliver service to some 7 million people in Syria and estimate they have saved over 70,000 lives, mostly from Russian and Syrian government air strikes on civilians.
Syrian government supporters, however, accuse the organization of accepting Western funding, allying with rebel forces and fabricating footage. The White Helmets were the subject of an eponymous Netflix documentary earlier this year and were nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
The Syrian Civil War has raged on for over five years and has killed over 470,000 people. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies are backed by Russia and Iran, while the West, Gulf countries and Turkey support a loose network of rebel groups. Kurdish forces and the Islamic State militant group have also clashed with all sides, as well as one another.