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A picture taken on February 9, 2018 in the countryside of Idlib, where Syrian government forces are conducting a major offensive. (AFP/Stringer)

Airstrike injures Syrian media activist in northwestern Syria

February 9, 2018 4:54 PM ET

Walid al-Rashed, a media activist for the Syrian pro-opposition Ma'arra Media Center, was seriously injured during an airstrike on February 7, 2018, in the northwestern Syrian city of Ma'arra al-Numan, 21 miles south of Idlib, according to news reports, the Syrian Journalists Association, and his employer.

Al-Rashed, who was covering airstrikes and cluster bombings in the area, had arrived at the scene of a Russian airstrike when an aircraft turned back and bombed the same area, Khaled Edlibe, al-Rashed's colleague at Ma'arra Media Center who was at the scene, told CPJ.

The media activist's right knee and left leg were injured in the attack, and he was transferred to a hospital in Darkush near the Syrian-Turkish border, according to Edlibe.

Pictures that Edlibe shared with CPJ show al-Rashed lying on a stretcher at the hospital of Darkush, with his right knee completely open and the bone sticking out, as a result of the blast. His left leg was covered in bandages.

Al-Rashed has been working as photographer and media activist for the Ma'arra Media Center for a year and half, covering clashes in the region and the humanitarian effects of war.

The media center covers the effects of the Syrian conflict on civilians in opposition or rebel-held areas.

According to local journalist Abd al-Kader Habak and the Syrian search and rescue group Syria Civil Defense, at least 13 airstrikes and a cluster bomb shelling targeting civilian areas hit the city of Ma'arra al-Numan on February 7, 2018, killing at least 10 people.

Russia's Defense Ministry denies targeting civilians and says it aims only hardline Islamist militants in Syria, according to a Reuters report from February 5, 2018.

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