Journalist and media activist Alaa Kraym, also known as Mohammed al-Qabouni, was killed on May 4, 2017, in Qaboun, a suburb east of Damascus, according to the Qaboun Media Center and the Syrian Media Organization. There were conflicting reports as to how the 22-year-old journalist died: The Qaboun Media Center told CPJ in an email that Kraym was killed by a tank shell fired by the Syrian army, while the Syrian Media Organization reported on its website that he was killed in a Russian airstrike.
The Qaboun Media Center said Kraym had worked for the office as a reporter since mid-2013 and had also worked for the Syrian Media Observatory and the Syrian Revolutionary Forces’ media office since the beginning of 2014. All of the outlets are sympathetic to or affiliated with rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Kraym had also, under the name Mohammed al-Qabouni, reported for media outlets on conditions east of Damascus during the government’s push to drive rebels out of the capital’s suburbs.
The Syrian Media Observatory highlighted Kraym’s video work after his death. Kraym’s work ranged from footage of combat in Qaboun to the hardships civilians faced as a result. In one segment in which he is interviewed on camera, Kraym described media as “the greatest weapon against the Assad regime.”