Mahmoud, a contributor to the local news website Basma Syria (Syria's Fingerprint), was killed by sniper fire while filming clashes between rebel forces and armed members of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, in Ras al-Ain in Al-Hasakah province near the Turkish border, according to the news outlet and local press reports. Mahmoud had covered the Syrian uprising primarily from the northeastern city of Qamishli near the Turkish border.
The Syrian opposition had accused the PYD, which is affiliated with the Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK, of working as President Bashar al-Assad's agents in Kurdish areas of Syria, according to news reports. Government forces had pulled out of the Kurdish areas of Al-Hasakah and Aleppo provinces, leaving control to the PYD, news reports said.
Basma Syria was formed by citizen journalists in July 2012 to cover the uprising and its effect on civilian life. The news website featured video reports, written reports, and photos from around the country. Mahmoud, 19, worked as its correspondent in Qamishli reporting on demonstrations and clashes there, providing both footage and news reports. Born in 1993, Mahmoud was also a student in computer engineering.