The Assad regime and Russian forces continue to commit violations against journalists and media activists across Syria as part of the ongoing bombing campaign against towns and villages in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria. The bombardment is killing children and women as well as causing massive destruction to medical facilities.
Photographer Anas Diab who works with the Syrian Civil Defense Corps, also known as the White Helmets, was killed in Russian airstrikes on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on Sunday.
The White Helmets mourned Diab who it said was killed while he was covering the work of civil defense volunteers and documenting the atrocities being committed by the by the Assad regime and its allies against Syrian civilians.
Diab has been a freelance journalist since 2013 and most recently worked as a photographer and volunteer for the Syrian Civil Defense. Born in Khan Sheikhoun in 1997, Diab was injured several times, most recently in the chemical attack which the Assad regime carried out in Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017.
The Assad regime came at the top of the list of those responsible for the death of journalists in 2019, with the Russian forces coming second on the list, according a report by the Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms of the Association of Syrian Journalists. The report, which was issued Saturday, tracked the violations against media workers in Syria in the first half of 2019.
The Center pointed out that the Assad regime was also responsible for other 17 violations against media workers in Syria, while Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militant group was responsible for 13 ones.
The Syrian Coalition said that targeting of media workers is a double crimes as media workers are direct eyewitness to the atrocities the Assad regime and Russia are committing. It noted that the Assad regime is not killing unarmed civilians only, but also the eyewitnesses.
The Coalition said that targeting of journalists aims to conceal the atrocities and preventing them from affecting the world public opinion.
The Assad regime and Russian forces have unleashed a ferocious bombing campaign against Idlib and Hama provinces for several weeks. The bombardment killed dozens and caused extensive damage to infrastructure, especially hospitals and schools on Sunday. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)