Takfiri militants from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continue to kidnap, torture and murder journalists and members of the media in northern Syria.
A Syrian journalist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the extremist ISIL militants operating in the militant-infested parts of northern Syria “started by kidnapping foreign journalists who came to cover” the developments in the crisis-hit country, AFP reported.
“The next step was that they started kidnapping Syrian journalists. And finally we got to where we are now, where they have started killing journalists directly,” he added.
Abductions are widespread in the militant-infested areas of northern Syria around Aleppo, Idlib and Raqqa.
The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has described Syria as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists.
The ISIL “has become the single greatest threat to journalists in Syria, [and is] responsible for kidnappings and murders even in neighboring Iraq,” said Sherif Mansour, a CPJ member.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also says more than 120 journalists have lost their lives since the outbreak of the foreign-sponsored violence in the Arab country nearly three years ago.
Earlier in January, 13 major international news organizations sent a letter to Syria’s foreign-backed opposition leaders, calling for an end to the abduction of journalists who cover the conflict in Syria.
The ISIL militancy is not limited to Syria, as the group is operating in Iraq at the same time. It has urged its affiliates in Iraq not to lay down their weapons and continue their fight against the Iraqi government and people.