SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Syrian Kurdish journalist killed in Turkish airstrike on civilian convoy

Wednesday , 16 October 2019

At about 4:15 pm on October 13, 2019, a Turkish airstrike hit a civilian convoy traveling between the northern Syrian towns of Qamishli and Ras al-Ain, killing Ahmed, a Syrian Kurdish reporter for the local news agency Hawar News (ANHA), according to ANHA Director Alan Roj and Editorial Director Delshad Judy, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.

At least four other journalists from local news outlets were also injured in the attack, according to news reports and sources who spoke to CPJ. According to a report by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, five other civilians were killed in the strike.

The attack took place near Ras al-Ain, a Syrian town on the Turkish border, which has seen intense fighting between Turkish and Syrian Kurdish forces since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched an offensive into Syria on October 9, according to news reports.

Roj and Judy told CPJ that Ahmed and his ANHA colleague Mohammad Ikinji were with a group of local and foreign journalists en route to cover a demonstration against Turkey’s offensive when their caravan was struck.

Shrapnel from the blast hit Ahmed near the head and hit Ikinji in the feet; both were transferred to the local Tall Tamr Hospital, where Ahmed died of his injuries, according to a report by ANHA.

Arsene Jakso, a reporter for the Furat News Agency, Dilsuz Deldar, a reporter for the North Press Agency, and Amal Younis, a reporter for the pro-Kurdistan Workers’ Party broadcaster Sterk TV, were also injured in the strike, according to news reports and a tweet by the North Press Agency.

A report by France 2 TV said that the convoy was escorted by Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of militias led by security forces loyal to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. The commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Abdi, wrote earlier today in Foreign Policy magazine that his forces may side with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to fight against the Turkish incursion into Syria.

Share News