Three Syrian journalists working for Orient TV were killed by a missile while covering fighting between government forces and rebels in the southern province of Deraa on 8 December. Two died on the spot and the third died after being taken to hospital.
Reporters Youssef Mahmoud El-Dous and Rami Adel Al-Asmi and cameraman Salem Abdul-Rahman Khalil were approaching a battle zone in the village of Sheikh Miskeen when a missile hit their vehicle. Orient TV, a Syrian station based in Dubai, said government forces deliberately fired the guided missile at their vehicle, which was not displaying a “press” sign but had a TV satellite dish that was clearly visible. “We offer our heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and firmly condemn this attack,” Reporters Without Borders deputy programme director Virginie Dangles said. “Syria is now the world’s most dangerous country for reporters, who are only too often targeted by the parties to the conflict.” All aged less than 30, the three Orient TV journalists were from different parts of Deraa province and had been covering the Syrian conflict since the start of the uprising in 2011. Fifteen journalists have been killed in Syria this year while various armed groups are currently holding 22 others hostage.