A Turkish or allied Turkish air strike bombarded a 200-vehicle convoy that included Kurdish citizens and foreign journalists in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Christophe Deloire, executive director of Reporters Without Borders, wrote on Twitter, “Reporters without Borders (@RSF_inter) is checking the situation of journalists who were part of a convoy which was the target of a Turkish bombing raid in Syria. According to pro Kurdish press, some of them are wounded, at least one Kurdish journalist has been killed.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights organization wrote on its website, “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the implementation of Turkish warplanes’ raids targeting a humanitarian convoy that headed today from Tall Tamr towards Ras al-Ain city (Sri Kaneh) in al-Hasakah countryside, where the shelling in Ras al-Ain caused casualties.”
Haaretz reports that at least nine people died in the air strike, including five civilians. Jenan Moussa, Arabic Al Aan TV reporter, wrote on Twitter: “I can confirm that the convey hit in Ras AlAin by Turkey contains journalists. I still don’t know their identity though.”
The North-Press Syrian news agency confirmed its journalist was among the wounded, writing, “North-Press reporter, Journalist ‘Delsoz Jousef’ was severely injured by Turkish air strikes that targeted them While covering a civilian convoy was heading from al-Jazira to Ras al-Ain.” Joursef told Rudaw news site: “When the people went to support Sari Kani, the Turks fired a mortar, which fell among the people. We journalists were there.” According to Rudaw, he claimed three journalists were injured.
Journalist Saad Al-Ahmad of Hawar News Agency was among those reported dead. “Today our ANHA correspondent Saad Al-Ahmad, who was following the convoy of civilians from Tel Tamar who went to Sari Kaneh to condemn the Turkish invasion, was martyred today,” wrote Kendal Cûdî on Twitter.
A second Hawar correspondent was reportedly among the wounded:
Here’s what you need to know:
A French Television Team Was on the Convoy & a Journalist Was Doing a Live Stream When It was Hit, Reports Say
Stephanie Perez, a French television journalist with France 2, wrote on Twitter, “Syria. We were in the convoy of Kurdish civilians targeted by Turkish forces or their allies in Ras Al Ain. Our team is fine but some colleagues are dead.”
Some reported that the convoy was going to protest attacks by Turkey. Daily Mail reported that Ras al-Ain is a “border town that advancing Turkish-allied forces have seized.”
Gruesome videos showing mangled bodies were shared on social media. Some people used them to point out that people in the convoy were carrying weapons (Daily Mail reports that the convoy was guarded by armed men). Other videos were less gruesome but still showed the damage. Here’s one of the latter:
One journalist was reportedly streaming live video when the attack occurred.
Rukmini Callimachi, a New York Times correspondent, wrote on Twitter, “A Turkish airstrike hit a convoy of civilians in northeastern Syria. Numerous journalists were with them and several are reported killed. We don’t yet know their identities. This is the France 2 team letting colleagues know that they are okay. #Awful.”
Journalists from Brazil may also be among those in the convoy:
Lindsey Hillsum, Channel 4 News International Editor, shared photos and wrote, “We joined a mixed military/civilian convoy heading towards Ras al Ayn. We did not go all the way. As they entered the front line town a Turkish airstrike hit. I don’t know how many of these people survived.”
The news site Rudaw English reported that the “convoy of journalists and civilians was reportedly shelled by Turkish forces,” and the death toll had risen to 10. Between 40 and 100 people were injured in the air strike, the site reports.
Rudaw reported that another journalist said that 10 journalists were traveling with the convoy. “Three of us were hit. Our camera, our phones were burnt,” he said to the site.
The Syrian organization claims that there have been at least 52 civilians killed “since the start of the Turkish military operation.” Among them: A prominent politician, Secretary-General of the pro-Kurdish Future Syria Party, Hevrin Khalaf, was reportedly ambushed and executed, according to CNN. The claim came from the U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Turkish media reported she was killed by aerial bombardment, and CNN reported it was unable to verify how Khalaf died.
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