A photograph of Najm el-Din Faisal Haj Sinan, a JIN TV driver who was killed in a suspected Turkish drone strike in Syria. (YouTube/JIN TV)

Driver killed, journalist severely injured by suspected Turkish drone strike in Syria

Beirut, August 25, 2023—Turkish authorities should immediately and thoroughly investigate a recent drone attack in Syria that killed a driver and injured a journalist, determine if they were targeted for their work, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.

On Wednesday, August 23, a suspected Turkish drone strike in Syria’s Kurdish-controlled northeast hit a car belonging to the all-female broadcaster JIN TV, killing driver Najm el-Din Faisal Haj Sinan and wounding journalist Dalila Agid, according to news reports and Dijla Eito, a member of JIN TV’s board, who spoke to CPJ.

Eito said Agid had undergone surgery and was in an intensive care unit as of Friday.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic drone attack that killed driver Najm el-Din Faisal and injured journalist Dalila Agid while they were working in northeastern Syria,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, in Washington, D.C. “Turkish authorities should swiftly launch an investigation into this attack, determine who was responsible and if the reporting team was targeted, and hold the perpetrators to account.”

JIN TV journalist Dalila Agid was injured in the drone strike. (Photo courtesy of JIN TV)

Eito told CPJ that the JIN TV team was driving near the Turkish border, between the Syrian cities of Amuda, where the broadcaster has a studio, and Qamishli, when they were attacked. Eito said Agid had been covering an event to commemorate the death of two Kurdish officials in another drone attack in June.

“She regained consciousness temporarily after suffering a severe injury to her neck and losing her left arm. However, she soon slipped back into an unconscious state. Numerous explosive fragments remained within her body,” Eito told CPJ.

In a statement, the Kurdish-led autonomous administration in northeastern Syria condemned the attack and called on the international community to intervene and ensure accountability.

CPJ emailed the Turkish president’s office for comment but did not receive a reply. CPJ was unable to find any contact information for the Turkish Defense Ministry or any comments it had issued about the attack.

Turkey has previously said that its strikes in northern Syria target Kurdish fighters that it considers terrorists.