Two Iraqi journalists have been killed in the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Falah Taha and Ali Juburi al-Kaabi were killed Saturday according to news reports and the website CPJ.
Taha who was a freelance journalist for several Iraq news agencies was reported killed while covering the conflict between government forces and the Free Syrian Army.
al-Kaabi was the editor-in-chief for Al-Zawraa a weekly paper based in Baghdad and was attacked by gunman.
Reports said both men were killed in Jaramana a suburb of Damascus and that they had both bullet and knife wounds in their bodies. The men were not together when they were killed nor in the same part of the city according to reports, some of which are conflicting from news sources and officials.
While it’s believed Taha was killed in cross-fire, al-Kaabi is reported to have been killed by an as yet to be identified group of masked men. It is not known if al-Kaabi was singled out because he was a journalist or an Iraqi.
Both bodies were turned over by Syrian officials Monday evening at the Syrian border crossing of al-Waleed. In light of the killings the Baghdad-based independent Journalists’ Freedom Observatory is warning Iraqi journalists not to venture into Syria.
In January French TV reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed by mortar fire from Syrian rebels as the journalist was in a pro-government neighborhood in the city of Homs covering the conflict going on in that city.
Over 30 journalists have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011.
Some citizen journalists in Syria have been targeted with arrest and/or killed for their reporting of events to the world.
News agencies in the US such as CNN and in particular reports which have appeared during Anderson Cooper’s program AC360 go to great lengths to protect the identity of citizen journalists and others as they report both with video and “eyewitness” accounts of the conflict in different parts of Syria. Many videos of the war have been posted to YouTube and have become the “eyes and ears” for the world to witness the events in Syria and its government.
American journalist Marie Colvin of the London Sunday Times and who also reported for CNN, and French reporter Remi Ochlik were killed during shelling of the city of Homs by the Syrian government several months ago.
Homs has seen some of the most devastating and brutal action taken against Syrian civilians by the Syrian government during what can be called a civil war and genocide against the populus of Syrian citizens.