ANKARA, Turkey – A Syrian journalist has escaped an assault in Turkey, months after his journalist brother and a colleague were killed in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. It was the latest in a spate of attacks against Syrian journalists in Turkey.
Ahmed Abdelqader, director of the website Eye on the Homeland, was ambushed by two men outside his building in Sanliurfa city but escaped with minor injuries, the CPJ said late Wednesday. The assailants fled the scene.
Abdelqader did not immediately respond to request for comment. But he told The Associated Press in an interview in December that he had been receiving death threats from IS since the murder of his brother, Ibrahim Abdelqader, and of Fares Hamadi in Sanliurfa in October.
The pair are believed to have been killed by a secret operative from the IS group who befriended them before the attack. They were working for the media collective called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a reference to the Syrian city of Raqqa that has become synonymous with IS and its efforts to build a caliphate.
IS has also claimed responsibility for killing another Syrian journalist, Naji al-Jarf, who was shot in the street in the southern city of Gaziantep in January.
"We condemn the attack on Ahmed Abdelqader and call on Turkish authorities to swiftly find his assailants and bring them to justice," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. "Turkey must focus on solving the murders of Ibrahim Abdelqader, Fares Hamadi and Naji al-Jarf, who had come to the country seeking protection, and ensure the safety of all Syrian journalists working there."
The CPJ said members of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently and Eye on the Homeland receive death threats on a daily basis for their reports.