Debay was killed
by a sniper while covering fighting in Aleppo in Syria, according to local and
international press reports.
Belgian-born French journalist, was based in Aleppo, where he covered clashes
between the Syrian army and opposition forces in the city for his online
newsmagazine Assault, according to news
reports. A veteran military correspondent, he contributed reports for the
French military magazine Raid, and had written several
books about military conflicts.
death was first reported by the Syrian
Media Center, a Facebook group associated with the Syrian opposition. The
group said that Debay was accompanying fighters from the Free Syrian Army who
were headed to reclaim a local hospital, local
reports said. The group also said they believed the sniper was affiliated
with the Syrian regime because he was stationed at the top of the Central
Prison, toward the north of the city, an area controlled by the regime. The
Syrian Media Center posted
a video showing Debay’s body in a hospital and his French passport.
death marked the first journalist killed in Syria in 2013, according to CPJ
Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, issued a statement on January 9 in which
grave concern over the continued killing of journalists in Syria and called on
all parties to recognize a reporter’s duty to continue informing the public
even in the midst of strife.