MOSCOW, June 28 (Itar-Tass) – Wednesday’s attack on the headquarters of the Syrian satellite channel Al-Ikhbariya was a politically motivated action targeted at a mass media outlet, Alexander Lukashevich, an official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
“June 27, a group of armed militants attacked the office of Al-Ikhbariya satellite channel located in the town of Drousha 20 km away from Damascus,” Lukashevich said. “The terrorists killed three journalists and four guards, stole a part of equipment from the studio, and blew up the remaining equipment.”
“Al-Ikhbariya is a privately-owned channel, the editorial policy of which is marked by patriotism and a generally loyal attitude towards the authorities,” he said. “It’s from these positions that the channel is covering the events in Syria, including the clashes between the government troops and the illegal paramilitary units.”
“This barbaric action was an instance of outrage for a ‘dissent’, for an attempt to bring an unbiased picture of events to the attention of the Syrian, Arab and international community, a picture that someone apparently doesn’t like,” Lukashevich said.
Moscow does not have any doubts that “this is a politically motivated crime targeted at a mass media outlet and not at separate people.”
“Unfortunately, the calls to suspend the broadcasting of Syrian TV channels’ signals via the Arabsat and Nilesat satellites that were heard at a session of the Arab League in Doha, and the sanctions against the Syrian private channel al-Dunya, which the EU introduced last September, fall into the same like of actions undermining the principles of freedom of opinion and freedom of the mass media,” Lukashevich said.