Al-Kaabi, editor-in-chief of the Baghdad-based weekly Al-Zawraa,
was killed in Jaramana, a suburb of Damascus, the capital, according to news
reports. Al-Zawraa is a weekly issued by the Iraqi Journalists’
Syndicate, the reports said.
News accounts reported few and conflicting details about
al-Kaabi’s death. Some outlets reported that he had been shot to death, while
other reports citing Iraqi army officials said he had also been stabbed. It
is unclear what the journalist was doing at the time of his death.
Al-Kaabi fled Iraq between 2007 and 2008 and had been living
in Syria ever since, Ziad al-Ajili, director of Baghdad’s Journalistic Freedom
Observatory, told CPJ. Syria is home to some 1 million Iraqi refugees who fled
the sectarian fighting in Iraq between 2005 and 2007, according to news
reports. Al-Kaabi was a card-carrying member of the Iraqi Journalists’
Syndicate, The Associated Press reported, citing Brig. General Qassim
al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi commander.
Syrian authorities handed over al-Kaabi’s body to Iraqi
authorities at the Al-Waleed border on July 16, the AP reported
al-Dulaimi as saying.
Al-Kaabi was killed on the same day as freelance Iraqi
journalist Falah Taha, who was also living and working in Syria, according to
news reports. It is unclear if the two died in the same area or under the same
circumstances. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.