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Civilians and members of the rescue organization, Syrian Civil Defense, run to the scene of an airstrike in Idlib province on January 3, 2018. An airstrike injured two Syrian journalists in the province on January 11. (AFP/Omar Haj Kadour)

Airstrike injures two Syrian reporters in southern Idlib

January 12, 2018 11:33 AM ET

Abdulkadir al-Bakri, a correspondent for the pro-opposition Qasioun News Agency in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, and Abdulkadir al-Abdo, a reporter for pro-opposition Al-Jisr TV, were injured in a January 11, 2018 airstrike while covering clashes in the south of Idlib province, according to their employers and the Syrian Journalists' Association.

Talal Kharrat, manager of the English department at Qasioun News Agency, told CPJ that al-Bakri was injured while covering a counter-offensive launched by opposition forces earlier that day against the pro-President Bashar al-Assad forces near Khawain village. When a pro-Assad forces' aircraft dropped a bomb, shrapnel hit al-Bakri in the chest and stomach, Kharrat said.

"He was immediately transferred to a field hospital in the area. His injuries are critical, but the doctors and the medical staff said that he will recover," Kharrat said.

Al-Abdo was hit by shrapnel in his left foot during the same airstrike, according to the Syrian Journalists Association and Al-Jisr TV.

The journalists were covering clashes that started early on January 11 as opposition factions in Idlib and Hama launched a counter-offensive in southern Idlib and northern Hama to take back areas seized by the pro-Assad forces, according to news reports.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The second paragraph of this case has been updated to reflect that Kharrat is manager of the English department at Qasioun News Agency.]

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