LONDON-The Oscar awarded to a documentary about the daily lives of volunteers of a Syrian search and rescue group called the “White Helmets” shows people care about its mission to help civilians caught in Syria’s civil war, the group said on Monday.

The White Helmets operate a rescue service in rebel-held parts of Syria, which have been subjected to fierce bombardment by the government and Russia’s air force during the country’s civil war that has levelled whole city districts.

Syria’s government under President Bashar al-Assad has accused the group of being a front for al Qaeda and of faking footage of the aftermath of air strikes for propaganda purposes, charges the White Helmets deny.

“I am absolutely delighted that we won an Oscar - it show us that people care about us and the people we serve,” said Khaled Khatib, a volunteer and cinematographer on the film, which won an Oscar for best short documentary at Sunday’s award ceremony. “We are honored that ‘The White Helmets’ film has received an Oscar,” Raed Saleh, head of the Syria Civil Defence, said in a statement posted on Twitter early on Monday. “But we are not happy to do what we do. We abhor the reality we live in,” he added.

The 40-minute Netflix film, directed by British documentary-maker Orlando von Einsiedel, follows volunteers as they conduct search and rescue operations in Aleppo and undergo training in Turkey. But members of the “White Helmets” could not attend the awards ceremony in Los Angeles because of passport issues and air strikes in Syria, the group said in a statement.

Both Saleh and Khatib were given visas by the United States for the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.