SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Syrian journalist Rasheed Bakr killed in an airstrike in northern Idlib

Wednesday , 28 October 2020

Syrian reporter and cameraman Rasheed Bakr, who worked for the pro-opposition news website Al-Mohrar Media Network and the Syria 1 News Agency, was killed in an airstrike while covering the training of soldiers belonging to the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation, a Syrian opposition coalition, at a training camp in Jabal al-Duwailah, near the northern Idlib city of Kafr Takharim on October 26, according to news reports, Bakr’s employers, and a member of the Al-Mohrar Media Network who spoke to CPJ via email and didn’t disclose his identity.

According to news reports, 20 people, including Bakr, were killed in the airstrike, which the reports said was carried out by Russian warplanes. 

A member of Al-Mohrar Media Network told CPJ that, a few days earlier, Bakr had pitched a story to them about soldiers belonging to the National Front for Liberation, some of whom were from his hometown Kafr Takharim, and who were undergoing training at a camp near the town. The National Front for Liberation is part of the opposition Syrian National Army.

“He told us he would film the camp and prepare a video report for Al-Mohrar. We agreed to his proposal and he went there to cover the event, but a missile fired from a Russian warplane hit the parade ground in the camp, killing a number of soldiers and also Rasheed. Many others were injured,” he said.

He said Bakr had worked for Al-Mohrar Media Network since its founding in November 2018.

On the days prior to his death, Bakr had been reporting local news in Kafr Takharim, including the opening of a youth center, a protest by local teachers to demand material support, and a joint school festival.

According to news reports, Bakr also worked for the media office of the National Front for Liberation.

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