Journalists Killed  |  Syria

Yara Abbas

Al-Ikhbariya

May 27, 2013, in Al-Qusayr, Syria

Abbas, a correspondent for the pro-government TV channel Al-Ikhbariya, was killed when her crew's vehicle came under rebel sniper fire, according to official Syrian news sources.

The official SANA news agency reported that Abbas was driving in a car with Al-Ikhbariya cameraman Osama Dayoub and driver Badr Awad near the Al-Daba'a military airbase in the city of Al-Qusayr when a rebel sniper opened fire on the vehicle. Awad told SANA the gunfire damaged the car and caused it to crash. He said the crew was taken to the hospital by forces loyal to the Syrian regime, but that Abbas died before she could be treated. It was not immediately clear from news reports whether the vehicle was marked with a "Press" sign.

The Syrian Information Ministry confirmed SANA's description of Abbas's death. The official account did not make clear whether Abbas died from injuries sustained from sniper fire or from the car crash. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Abbas had been killed by a sniper near the airbase, but did not offer further details.

Abbas had gained prominence for her reporting on the front lines while embedded with government forces. In her last report from Al-Qusayr, Abbas can be seen wearing camouflage that closely resembles the uniforms of the Assad army. In the report, broadcast the day before her death, she described clashes between the Syrian army and the rebels, who she called "terrorists" and "mercenaries."

Al-Qusayr had been the scene of intense fighting in the weeks preceding Abbas's death as Assad forces supported by Hezbollah attempted to capture the key rebel stronghold that links Lebanon with the Syrian city of Homs. It is not clear whether the Al-Ikhbariya crew was directly targeted or had just been mistaken for combatants.

Al-Ikhbariya honored Abbas in a short video broadcast shortly after her death that called her a "heroic martyr."


Medium: Television

Job: Broadcast Reporter

Beats Covered: War

Gender: Female

Local or Foreign: Local

Freelance: No

Type of Death: Crossfire/Combat-Related

Suspected Source of Fire: Political Group


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