A Syrian TV correspondent working for a pro-government channel has been killed while covering clashes near the border with Lebanon, the country’s Information Ministry says, in the latest death of a journalist in Syria’s more than two-year-old conflict.
A prominent female war reporter for state-owned Al-Ikhbariyah TV, Yara Abbas, was attacked by rebels near the town of Qusayr in Homs province, the ministry said in a statement carried by Syrian state television.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group also reported her death on Monday, saying she “was killed by a sniper close to Dabaa airport”, north of Qusayr.
The group said other members of Abbas’s crew were wounded, without providing further details.
Syrian TV flashed a breaking news alert which read: “The ministry of information … announces that colleague Yara Abbas has been added to the ranks of the martyrs, killed by terrorists near Dabaa airport.”
The Syrian army, backed by fighters from the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, began an assault nine days ago on Qusayr, where rebels hold sway.
Both the rebels and the regime view the town as a key strategic prize, because it lies near the Lebanese border and by the road connecting Damascus to the coast.
Abbas who frequently reported alongside Assad’s forces from the frontline of Syria’s conflict was a common sight for Syrian television viewers.
Since Syria’s crisis started in 2011, dozens of journalists have been killed, wounded or kidnapped, in a period when more than 94,000 people were killed, according to the United Nations.