A Syrian TV cameraman on Friday was killed outside his home near the Syrian capital by an “armed terrorist group,” the Syrian state news agency reported on Saturday.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Haydar al-Samadi “was assassinated by fighters in the Kafr Sousah neighborhood of Damascus.” It also reported on Saturday that a Spanish reporter was seriously injured in Aleppo, but the cause of the man’s injuries were as yet unclear.
Reporters Without Borders tallied at least 17 journalists killed in Syria since January 2012, not including al-Samadi. Another four “media assistants” have been killed this year in the Syrian civil war as well, the organization’s website said. Only Somalia has had more journalist fatalities than Syria this year, according to the group’s records.
Syrian rebels on Saturday threatened to storm two predominantly Christian towns in central Syria, saying regime forces are using them to attack nearby areas.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the rebels issued an ultimatum to the towns of Mahrada and Sqailbiyeh in Hama province.
A video released by rebels showed Rashid Abul-Fidaa, the Hama commander of the Ansar Brigade, calling on residents to “evict Assad’s gangs” or be attacked.
Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population, say they are particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country of 22 million people. They are fearful that Syria will become another Iraq, with Christians caught in the crossfire between rival Islamic groups.
At least 10 Syrians were killed on Saturday, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. Approximately 44,000 Syrians have been killed since the civil war against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011, according to Syrian opposition groups.