Syria: Sky news team attacked with targeted tank shelling in Syria

Yesterday a Sky News team from the United Kingdom was attacked with tank shells by Syrian regime's forces in a deliberate shelling in Idlib, the country's northwestern province.  

This picture taken on May 23, 2019 shows smoke plumes rising following reported Syrian government forces' bombardment on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province. Anas AL-dyab / AFP

The IFJ joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in calling on the United Nations and the global community to urgently condemn the actions of the authorities in Syria for putting in danger the lives of the Sky News' crew.

The Sky team was reporting in the jihadists' controlled province of Idlib when they were spotted by a military drone and repeatedly shot at. The targeting of journalists continued even though they withdrew to the nearby town  while an activist they were travelling with was hit by a shrapnel.

Sky's special correspondent  Alex Crawford said: "The Sky News crew - clearly identified as journalists - was deliberately targeted and attacked by Syrian regime forces using military drones to pinpoint our location, before launching a series of strikes."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: "This is an outrageous act and the international community must strongly condemn Bashar al Assad's intentional targeting of journalists in Syria. Media workers should be allowed to work without such threats to their lives which are clear breaches of international law. The attack on the Sky news team is also clearly intended to send a stark message to other journalists, and we must be united in our condemnation of such actions." 

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ General secretary said: "We are appalled by this deliberate targeting of our colleagues from Sky News and we remind President Bashar al Assad that journalism is not a crime and that he should abide by his international commitment towards press freedom. The Syrian president should be providing the media with the necessary safety to carry out their duties, not treat them as terrorists to be attacked. "

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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