Nov 08 2018

Press watchdog calls Turkey to guarantee safety of journalists in northeast Syria

Press watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday called on Turkish authorities to ensure the safety of journalists working in areas in northeastern Syria where Turkey has launched a military operation, Kurdistan 24 news site reported on Thursday.

RSF’s call came after two Syrian Kurdish journalists were injured in the northeastern town of Tal Abyad on the Turkish border.

Two journalists who work for Syrian Kurdish news agency ANHA/Hawar, Ibrahim Ahmad and Gulistan Mohammed, were injured while covering clashes between Turkish and Kurdish forces, Kurdistan 24 said.

“Combatants must respect UN Security Council Resolution 1738 on the safety of journalists in armed conflicts, and must not target them or detain them as if they were participants in the conflict,” Sophie Anmuth, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk, said. 

“The Turkish authorities must accept that this imposes obligations on them, both with regard to their own armed forces and the groups they support,” she said.

US Ambassador William V. Roebuck also visited journalist Mohammed, who was said to be seriously injured, and wished her a speedy recovery, Kurdistan 24 said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced last week that Turkey would start a large scale operation in regions on the east of River Euphrates in Syria, which are mainly under the control of Kurdish militia, People’s Democratic Units (YPG).

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has been fighting inside Turkey for more than 30 years.