Two journalists in Syria were shot to death by snipers in two regions long involved in the bloody conflict.
The journalists were Yves Debay, who worked with Assaut in France, and Mohamed Al-Massalma, a freelance correspondent working with Al Jazeera.
CNN reports that Debay was a globe-trotting war reporter and so-called “battlefield junkie.” He was once a mercenary fighter in Africa. He lost his life in Aleppo, according to a statement by the French presidential palace on Friday.
Al-Massalma, 33, was a Syrian journalist who also went by the name of Mohammed al-Horani. He was struck by three bullets while he covered fighting at the front lines in Busra Al-Harir in Daraa.
Al Jazeera stated of their slain correspondent:
“He was known for his courage and accuracy of the news he provided from Daraa and the surrounding areas.”
The network added, through a spokesperson, that “targeting its collaborating journalists and crews will not change the editorial method and guidelines adopted by the network since it was launched 16 years ago for the sake of delivering truth.”
Before he became a correspondent for Al Jazeera, al-Horani was an activist working in the revolt against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
The Daraa region is located near Jordan and is the site where the Syrian uprising began in March 2011. Reuters notes that French President Francois Hollande released a statement about Debay’s death, saying:
“France condemns this odious act and expresses its condolences, its sympathy and its solidarity with the friends and family of Yves Debay.”
After he was shot by a regime sniper, Syrian rebels reportedly brought Debay across the border to Turkey, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at the state hospital in Kilis.
Syria was the most dangerous place in the world for journalists last year. More than 28 were killed, according to watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists. Troops on both sides of the bloody conflict have detained journalists in the country. The Syrian government also tightly restricts media access within the country.