MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Russian journalists who came under terrorist fire in Syria have said on their return to Russia that the gunmen shelled them intentionally.
A group of journalists, including TASS correspondent Alexander Yelistratov and RT reporters Sargon Hadaya and Roman Kosarev, came under fire in Syria on Monday while on the way to the village of al-Dagmashliya, some 20 kilometers from the Turkish border. During the ascent to Zuaek hill their vehicle was struck by TOW anti-tank missiles, one of them exploded near the car. Kosarev sustained a concussion, and Hadaya and Yelistratov — shrapnel wounds.
"We were fully equipped in accordance with the Geneva Convention with blue bulletproof vests and blue helmets (emblazoned with the word Press — TASS). It was obvious where we are and whom we represent, but we were shelled," said RT correspondent Roman Kosarev.
According to him, the Syrian military asked the Russian journalists to take off their helmets, because it is precisely they that are the targets. "Militants deliberately fire on journalists," he noted.
The vehicles that came under fire were carrying a total of 17 journalists, the media representatives said. In addition to the journalists who returned to Moscow, RT cameraman Alexander Zhukov sustained light wounds. Several pieces of shrapnel were removed from his back. "He remained in Syria," Sagon Hadaya said.
TASS correspondent Alexander Yelistratov noted that the journalists were accompanied by representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry, they were in the first two vehicles. "There were no representatives of the Defense Ministry in the car, under which the missile exploded," he said.
According to the journalists, civilians in Syria treat Russian media representatives well. "We attended various demonstrations and rallies on numerous occasions and were treated well everywhere. They hugged us and said, "Russia, thank you," Kosarev added.