Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain. Credit: Ozan KOSE / AFP

Brussels 15 October 2019 – Journalists Saad Ahmed, working for Hawar ANHA news agency, and Mohamed Hussein, correspondent for Çira TV, were killed and four others were injured on Sunday 13 October in an explosion in the city of Ras al-Ain, located in northern Syria. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has backed calls for an immediate investigation to bring the material and intellectual perpetrators of the attack to justice.

The group of journalists were in a civilian convoy on their way to cover events in the city when the explosion occurred. Saad Ahmed died on the spot and Mohammed Hussein died on Monday 14 as a result of the serious injuries he sustained in the attack.

At least other four journalists were injured in the attack including Mohamed Akinji correspondent for Hawar ANHA agency, Arsin Jaksou, correspondent for Alfurat News, Amel Younes of Stêrk TV and Delsous Dildar, a correspondent for North Press Agency.

The Syrian Journalists Association, which runs an observatory in the region, could not identify those responsible for the attack or confirm whether the explosion was caused by a bomb planted on the ground or by an air bombing due to contradictory reports of the incident.

Ras al-Ain is the scene of battles between the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Turkish forces and the National Army factions of the Syrian opposition.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We are appalled by this deliberate attack against journalists in Syria. We call for an immediate investigation into the attack and hold those responsible accountable. The targeting of journalists is a war crime that can’t be tolerated. The IFJ sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the killed journalists and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured”.