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Russian Foreign Ministry calls UN to react to incident with Russian reporters in Syria

November 26, 2015, 17:52 UTC+3
Russian journalists covering the conflict in syria came under fire on November 24
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Russian reporters Roman Kosarev and Sargon Hadaya, injured in Syria

Russian reporters Roman Kosarev and Sargon Hadaya, injured in Syria

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Moscow is calling on a United Nations specialized body to react to the incident with RT and TASS reporters in Syria, as a result of which a few people were injured, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova said Thursday.

"The incident with Russian journalists from RT and TASS, who covered the armed conflict in Syria, luckily did not become tragic," Zakharova said. "They had all the required identification marks of media employees but were fired at. As a result of the attack, some received injuries."

"The incident should attract the attention of the specialized UN body on problems of security for media employees," she said. "There are many international-legal documents to protect journalists in such situations, which have been recognized by everyone."

At the same time, Zakharova asked: "Are those who fired at Russian journalists also moderate opposition?"

"They [moderate opposition] posted the journalists’ photos on the web and signed: ‘kill them if you see them,’" the diplomat said.

A group of journalists - TASS correspondent Alexander Yelistratov and RT reporters Sargon Khadaya and Roman Kosarev - came under fire in Syria on Monday, when they were heading to the city of Dagmashliya 20 kilometers from the Turkish border.

When ascending a high ground, cars with media representatives inside faced an attack by TOW missiles, one of which exploded near the car. Kosarev got a concussion, Khadaya and Yelistratov - fragmentation wounds.

Syrian government army soldiers took the Russians to a safe place. According to Syrian military, fire was delivered by militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization, which is banned in Russia, from a distance of some 2.5 kilometers.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia.

On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive.

Over 2,000 terrorist facilities have been destroyed by Russian aircraft since the start of the air operation. The Russian Federation does not plan to take part in ground operations in Syria.

According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently gave instructions to intensify strikes delivered by Russian aircraft in Syria after Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov reported that the crash of Russia’s A321 airliner above the Sinai Peninsula on October 31 was caused by a terrorist act carried out with the help of a homemade explosive device.

A total of 224 people were killed, making the air crash the largest in the history of domestic aviation. Following the tragedy, Russia suspended flights to Egypt.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin November 17 that Russia has involved strategic and long-range aircraft in strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.

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