A TV correspondent was killed in Syria while covering the nation’s growing conflict for state-owned television.
The killing happened on Monday as regime troops backed by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah moved in on a town held by rebels. The fighting in the town of Qusair left many soldiers and civilians killed.
TV correspondent Yara Abbas, a prominent female war reporter for state-owned Al-Ikhbariyah TV, was one of those killed. She and her camera crew were ambushed by rebels near the Dabaa military base, an attack that left her dead and two of the other station’s employees wounded.
Syria’s civil war has claimed the lives of many war correspondents, with an estimated nine journalists and 23 crew members being killed in the last year years. Among those killed are award-winning French TV reporter Gilles Jacquier, photographer Remi Ochlik and Britain’s Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin.
Last year American correspondent Richard Engel and his crew were held by pro-regime gunmen in northern Syria, but he was able to escape during a conflict.The latest killing highlights a conflict intensifying through the presence of Hezbollah.
The outside militant group is taking on a growing role in the conflict, fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s troops, initially tried to play down its involvement.Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said the military group and Syria are strong allies, and that Hezbollah’s fate is closely tied to the conflict.
The presence of Hezbollah has broadened the Syrian conflict beyond the country’s borders. Earlier this month Israel carried out a bombing campaign on Hezbollah targets with rocket strikes in Beirut’s northern suburbs.
The attack was the first to target Hezbollah’s stronghold near Lebanon’s capital since the conflict began more than two years ago. Syria’s war has also heightened sectarian tensions in Lebanon.
The TV correspondent was killed shortly after crossing into the country from Lebanon.