Mustafa Salamah, who worked for the pro-Bashar al-Assad government satellite channel Sama TV, died July 16, 2018, after being injured covering clashes between the Syrian army and rebel groups in Quneitra province, according to his employer and the Syrian-government run news agency Sana.
Sama TV reported that Salamah was with coworkers on a hill overlooking the village of Mashara to cover the Syrian army’s attempt to retake the area. According to Sama TV and the regional news website The New Arab, a shell landed nearby, critically injuring Salamah. The Quneitra province governor, Hamam Dibiyat, told Sama TV in a phone interview that Salamah died two hours after being injured.
CPJ could not determine the source of the shell that fatally injured Salamah. Both Sama TV and Sana reported that it was fired by rebels formerly affiliated with the Islamist militant group Al-Nusra Front.
The New Arab reported that Salamah was killed during fighting between Syrian government forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), an umbrella grouping of disparate factions opposed to Assad, but the news website did not state that an FSA shell injured Salamah. The Revolutionary Forces of Syria media office, a pro-FSA news website, said in an article that Salamah was killed by a shell fired by “Syrian opposition factions,” but did not specify which group was responsible.
Salamah worked for Sama TV for at least two years prior to his death, reporting mainly on the Syrian government forces and their allies’ military offensives against rebels in Quneitra Governorate, as well as the government and their allies’ offensive in the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.