Haida Gwaii refugee in mourning after brother is killed in targeted attack

Hassan Sirhan says his brother, Abdullah, died after a vehicle he was in was hit with a missile. He was in Syria to volunteer with the White Helmets, part of the Syrian Civil Defence.

'The guy ... never cared about his needs except for others'

Abdullah Sirhan stayed behind in Syria to volunteer with the White Helmets, a humanitarian organization. (Hassan Sirhan)

A Syrian refugee living on Haida Gwaii is mourning the loss of his brother, whose vehicle was hit by a missile in Syria on Sunday.

"He was a very good person. Very loved, and he loved to help others," Hassan Sirhan told CBC Daybreak North host Carolina de Ryk.

Sirhan and his family moved to Canada in 2016, settling on Haida Gwaii in northwest B.C.

Hassan Sirhan poses with his wife Lama and their children. (Beng Favreau)

His brother Abdullah stayed behind as a member of the White Helmets, a volunteer civil defence organization operating in Syria.

"He was very known for his help, not only in Syria, not only for the people in the camps in Syria, in Jordan and Turkey, everywhere," Sirhan said of his brother. "The guy that never cared about his needs except for others."

To hear more about his brother, listen here: 

The White Helmets were the subject of an Oscar-winning short documentary film by director Orlando von Einsiedel that shows volunteers climbing through rubble, risking their lives in order to help people escape.

The film documents the dangerous work of these emergency rescue teams in the middle of Syria's ongoing civil war.

Sirhan said his brother leaves behind a wife and five children. He's hoping Canada will bring them to Haida Gwaii.

In the meantime, he says the community continues to support him.

"It was so amazing ... how much humanity and great people we've seen."

"As soon as they heard of my brother, people knocked on my door, gave me a hug and offered me condolences," said Sirhan.