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Syrian army soldiers are seen in Maarat al-Numan on January 30, 2020. At least five Syrian journalists were recently injured while embedded with Syrian government forces. (Reuters/Omar Sanadiki)

Five Syrian journalists injured while covering clashes in Aleppo and Idlib

February 4, 2020 1:05 PM ET

Five Syrian journalists embedded with forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad were injured in two incidents, on January 29 and February 2, 2020, in the northwestern Syrian governorates of Idlib and Aleppo, according to news reports and reports by their employers.

On January 29, Wafa Shibroni, a reporter for the Russian broadcaster RT, was wounded by shrapnel from a booby trap in the northwestern city of Ma’rat al-Numan, in Idlib governate, according to news reports and a report by her employer.

Shibroni was embedded with the Syrian Army to cover clashes between the army and the militant group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an Al-Qaeda offshoot formerly known as Al-Nusra Front, according to those reports.

Moataz Yacoub, an RT camera operator who was with Shibroni when she was wounded, was cited by RT as saying that a Syrian military official found a discarded rocket launcher while on patrol and was examining it when a bomb placed inside the weapon exploded, inuring the officer’s hand and sending shrapnel into Shibroni’s face, left eye, jaw, and body.

Shibroni was transferred to the National Hospital in the city of Hama, where she underwent surgery for five hours, according to RT.

On January 30, Shibroni was transferred to the Russian Khmeimim Air Base in Latakia, in western Syria, and was then flown on a military airplane to Saint Petersburg for further treatment at the Military Medical Academy, according to another report from the broadcaster. She was in stable condition, according to that report.

On February 2, Turkish-backed opposition forces in the town of Al-Qarassi, in southern Aleppo governorate, fired a rocket at a convoy carrying Syrian Army soldiers and members of an Iranian militia, injuring four journalists who were embedded with them, according to news reports.

The journalists included reporter Diaa Kaddour and camera operator Ibrahim Kahil from Iranian-funded broadcaster Al-Alam TV, reporter Kinana Allouche from the pro-government Syrian broadcaster Sama TV, and camera operator Suhaib al-Masry from the Iranian-funded broadcaster Al-Kawthar TV, according to reports by their employers.

A video of the attack filmed by the Syrian National Army, a Turkish-backed opposition group, and shared on Facebook by Allouche shows a rocket hit a vehicle in front of the journalists’ SUV, creating a large explosion.

Shrapnel from the blast hit Kaddour in his left arm and Kahil in his right hand and arm, according to a report by their employer, and hit al-Masry in the face and left arm, according to Syrian official news agency SANA.

Allouche suffered bruises and minor injuries, according to those reports and images the journalist posted to Facebook.

The journalists were transferred for treatment to the University Hospital in Aleppo and all of them were in stable condition, news reports said.

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