01:39 GMT +318 October 2018
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    Syria: International journalists escape shelling near Turkish border

    Int’l Journalists Thank Russia for Saving Their Lives in Latakia Shelling

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    The journalists who came under artillery fire in Latakia on Tuesday survived thanks to the professionalism of Russian officers, Italian news agency reporter Askanews Cristina Guiliano said.

    On Tuesday, a group of 33 international journalists came under artillery fire in northern Latakia, Syria.

    No one was killed in the incident, and four journalists were injured. One of them works for Bulgaria's Media-Most holding, another is from Canada's CBC channel, while the two others are a cameraman and a correspondent for Hong Kong–based Phoenix television network. They received medical assistance right after the shelling.

    "It is obvious that the incident was a surprise for me and the other journalists. But actually I was surprised by how fast the officers reacted. Some people were injured, but it could be much worse," said Guiliano who witnessed the shelling.

    She added that the injuries were mostly caused by panic when the journalists came under fire.

    "We were injured only because we were underclad. It was hot, and our arms and legs were not protected. I was not injured. But some people fell on the ground, others were crawling, and they were injured," she explained.

    According to the journalist, the incident was aimed at hampering the peace process in Syria which has become possible mainly because of Russian efforts.

    "When we arrived in Latakia last night it was clear that situation had changed. It was quiet at the airfield. Russia has made progress and reached a ceasefire. But some are not happy with this, especially terrorists," Guiliano said.

    She also said that when the shelling began the situation seemed "very serious" to her.

    "At the time I thought it was very serious. Even the most experienced of my colleagues said they never saw anything like this before. I was the only woman there, but I knew there was nothing to be worried about. I knew I was in safe hands," she concluded.

    Greek reporter Thanassis Avgerinos also underscored that the journalist only survived thanks to the Russian servicemen on the site.

    "The servicemen saved us. Afterwards the attacks continued exactly in the place where we had been earlier. We ran away, while three local residents died and eight were injured," he told RIA Novosti.

    The shelling was carried out near the Turkish border area, from the Dama settlement near Idlib, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.

    According to a Syrian officer, the shelling was carried out by al-Nusra Front militants.

    The attack comes after the cessation of hostilities had come into effect at midnight on February 27. Earlier, the United States and Russia reached an agreement on a ceasefire between the Syrian government and opposition groups to help end the country’s civil war. The agreement does not apply to terrorist groups active in Syria, including Daesh and the al-Nusra Front.


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    ceasefire, military conflict, journalists, shelling, Al-Nusra Front, Latakia, Syria
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