Here’s what you need to know…
It came only a couple of weeks after an American journalist, Steven Sotloff, was captured in Syria by jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who shot him for American journalists. This was also the case for several other Syrian journalists killed during the recent Syrian civil war.
It is hard to say if the killing of journalists on the other side of the war is more deliberate or accidental. If one believes ISIS’ description of its killings, it may be the result of an internal conflict within the jihadist group where some members are killing foreign journalists in a bid to force them to leave Syria. But it remains to be seen whether this is the case.
The main Syrian opposition group, known as the National Coalition, has expressed its concern that the killing of journalists was deliberate. And on November 4, 2013, the main opposition umbrella group, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) stated: “The killings take place with a complete lack of attention to the victims’ security… and to the possibility of reprisal attacks,” Reuters reported.
Some observers have suggested that the killings may be the results of clashes between rebels inside Syria and extremist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This is certainly true. It was ISIL that attacked the Turkish border town of Reyhanli in late October, killing at least 34 Turkish citizens (including Turkish national police officers) in an attack that also killed 20 Syrian rebels.
But it is important to separate these two things. The killings, in their simplest form, are an attempt to force and pressure foreign journalists to leave Syria, and a threat to the people themselves because the government has the power to force them into such relocation. ISIL does not appear to have been responsible for the attacks.
This could be a coincidence, but it could also be a consequence of the ongoing conflict. The Turkish government and the Turkish army have been accused by other rebel groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham, of launching indiscriminately indiscriminate airstrikes against them in their own lands in the south. This conflict seems to have taken many shapes and forms. One thing is certain, it is not a simple matter of one side trying to kill another.
In the long run, it is not possible to put aside disagreements for any extended period. The conflict in Syria and the wider situation in the world require that we think about why we are taking sides in such a way in the first
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