On February 4, 2020, Syrian freelance photographer Amjad Anas Aktalati was killed in a Russian airstrike on the city of Ariha, south of Idlib, according to news reports, Facebook posts by other Syrian journalists, and a report by the Syrian Journalists’ Association, a France-based independent journalists’ syndicate.
The air strike collapsed a four-story building where Aktalati and his friend Fadi al-Rahal were taking shelter, killing them instantly, according to a report by the pro-opposition Smart News Agency. Syrian Civil Defense officers found their bodies after searching in the rubble for 12 hours, according to that report.
Aktalati posted his work on Facebook under the names Kevin Florian and Amjad Abu al-Joud, where he had more than 4,200 followers. He also worked as a freelancer and as a media producer for the Syrian Child Protection Network, a local nongovernmental organization, said a Syrian Child Protection Network employee who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.
The employee did not know the name of the outlets where Aktalati contributed his freelance work. The statement by Syrian Journalists’ Association also said that Aktalati contributed to a number of media outlets.
On his Facebook page, Aktalati had recently posted footage of the destruction of Ariha, the bombing of the local Al-Shamy Hospital, and airstrikes in Ariha and Idlib.