Taha, a freelance journalist who contributed to several
Iraqi news outlets, was killed while covering clashes between government forces
and the Free Syrian Army, according to news reports.
News accounts carried few and conflicting details about
Taha’s death. Some reports said he had died in Damascus, while other outlets
reported he had died in Jaramana, a suburb of the capital. Some accounts said
Taha had been shot to death, while other reports citing Iraqi army officials
said he had also been stabbed.
Taha fled Iraq between 2007 and 2008 and had been living and
working 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. Taha was a card-carrying member of the Iraqi Journalists’
Syndicate, The Associated Press reported, citing Brig. General Qassim
al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi commander.
The AP also reported
al-Dulaimi as saying that Syrian authorities handed over Taha’s body to Iraqi
authorities at the Al-Waleed border on July 16.
Taha was killed on the same day as Ali Juburi al-Kaabi,
another Iraqi journalist living 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.