Syrian TV journalist shot dead in Damascus

A corespondent for Iran’s Press TV was shot dead on Wednesday while reporting from the scene of devastating twin explosions in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Maya Nasser, a 33-year-old Syrian national, was killed after being hit by “insurgent” sniper fire, Press TV said.

The channel’s Damascus bureau chief, Hussein Murtada, who also worked for the Arabic-language Al-Alam TV network, was injured after coming under attack, the channel said.

Naser tweeted news of the explosions soon after 7am on Wednesday. He then appears to have set off with his Lebanese colleague to the scene, as fierce fighting continued. Murtada was reportedly shot in the back.

Nasser, reportedly a Christian, was one of the few correspondents based in Damascus to have reported on Syria’s brutal war in English.

His blog had been sympathetic to the Syrian government, and blamed the conflict on the “west and al-Qaida”. It gave a vivid portrait of life under fire and the perils of driving through checkpoints.

Writing in July, Nasser described waking up after midnight in Damascus, under a full moon, and hearing the sound of the army shelling rebel sites in the outskirts. He wrote: “Is this real … is my country on fire?” He mentioned “lunch with my beloved girlfriend”.

He went on to say that “killings and counter killings” had become a regular part of life in Syria. His post ended: “Bottom line is; my people are dying and I am waiting my turn.”

Writing on Twitter, Naser made little secret of his whereabouts, and frequently argued with opponents of the regime. He lamented the loss of life on both sides and the suffering of Syrians. “In wars like this there is no winner or loser,” he observed two days ago.

His last TV report this week was on Syria’s official opposition.

Press TV on Wednesday pinned the blame for his death on “Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar” which, it said, had armed Syria’s opposition and allowed it to kill soldiers and civilians.

“Press TV will pursue the matter of the murder of Maya and would not let those who killed the correspondent feel like they can kill the media people and get away with it,” said the channel’s newsroom director, Hamid Reza Emadi.

The conflict in Syria has been the deadliest of the Arab spring by far for media workers, for those reporting officially from Damascus, and for correspondents who have entered the country with the rebel Free Syrian Army.

The Syrian regime has given visas to only a handful of western correspondents, with most reporters based in Damascus working for Russian or Iranian networks sympathetic to the president, Bashar al-Assad.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent press freedom organisation, said that more than 20 foreign and Syrian journalists had been killed in Syria since the revolt against Assad had begun in March 2011.

Those who have died include war correspondents. Marie Colvin was killed during the siege of Homs in February. Syrians working for pro-regime media have also been killed.

Iran has been Damascus’s most stalwart regional neighbour. English language Press TV has reflected this official support. Its licence to broadcast from the UK was revoked in January by the UK regulator, Ofcom.

Guardian

  • NAYYASHME3RAB

    our condolences to his family

  • BESHIRGEMAYYEL

    our condolences to his family

  • NAYYASHME3RAB

    BREAKING NEWS: TURKEY A FAMOUS SALAFI LEAD COUNTRY IS PUBLISHING A MOVIE MOCKING ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AND CALLING THEIR BELIEF A FORM OF PROSTITUTION. THE CRIMINALS WITH MANY GENOCIDES IN THEIR HITORY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. ASHRAFIEH ORTHODOX HAVE CALLED TO A HUGE MANIFESTATION. PLEASE DO COME NUMEROUS

  • BESHIRGEMAYYEL

    BREAKING NEWS: TURKEY A FAMOUS SALAFI LEAD COUNTRY IS PUBLISHING A MOVIE MOCKING ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AND CALLING THEIR BELIEF A FORM OF PROSTITUTION. THE CRIMINALS WITH MANY GENOCIDES IN THEIR HITORY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. ASHRAFIEH ORTHODOX HAVE CALLED TO A HUGE MANIFESTATION. PLEASE DO COME NUMEROUS

  • Moe2000

    What a shame…… Syria is being turned into utter chaos and anarchy by foreign funded  Al Qaeda Mercenaries. This is what Al Saud did to Iraq and are doing even worse to Syria. While the people have a right to democracy this is not the way. Foreign country’s are taking advantage of the Syrian peoples need for political change and using it to destroy Syria from within because of the governments political stance. Look at Bahrain is anyone arming the Bahraini people?

    • hezzies are terrorists

       ” This is what Al Saud did to Iraq…” Not that I agree with the saudi dictators (the only country named after a family) but your comment is just ludicrous. Every educated person who is honest knows its the safavids in iran who destroyed Iraq with the help of the yanks and zionists. 

      • dateam

        During the Iraqi invasion Saudi Arabia was directly supporting Sunni groups as well as other groups in Iraq. Saudi’s in this case are playing both sides of the field, supporting Sunni groups that could be part of the opposition groups in Iraq responsible for fighting against the Americans. It has been rumored, though not supported by clear evidence, that Iran has tried to influence the same sectarian divides in Iraq and have been not nearly successful as Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has had a history of manipulating and influencing sectarian divisions in other inter-Arab conflicts. “Most notably in Yemen and Lebanon, the Saudis have developed close ties with various parties, mainly through the provision of financial aid and diplomatic support but sometimes with direct military aid as well, to affect the course of the conflicts and advance Saudi interests.”

        • hezzies are terrorists

           yes the safavids didn’t succeed and thats why an iranian puppet is in power in Iraq. makes sense if your name is dateam.. another Einstein in the making.

        • dateam

          ok says the FOLTMAN first of all what did you expect after the ouster of saddam after all the majority of the population is shia isnt it? so whoever the president is if they come into power and they are shia are you going to use the same line? name me one leader in the middle east whose in power is not in power unless the west approves? theyve gotten rid of the old now and its in with the new….but when you want to  make assumptions just remeber assumption is the mother of all f ups….go through the history of iraq and count how many internal attacks have been carried out and who has carried them out and against who? finally whats in a name anyway especially when ur name is folt-man? and for the record my wifes name starts with D  and all my kids names start with A hence the name DATEAM….see you assume

      • dateam

        During the Iraqi invasion Saudi Arabia was directly supporting Sunni groups as well as other groups in Iraq. Saudi’s in this case are playing both sides of the field, supporting Sunni groups that could be part of the opposition groups in Iraq responsible for fighting against the Americans. It has been rumored, though not supported by clear evidence, that Iran has tried to influence the same sectarian divides in Iraq and have been not nearly successful as Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has had a history of manipulating and influencing sectarian divisions in other inter-Arab conflicts. “Most notably in Yemen and Lebanon, the Saudis have developed close ties with various parties, mainly through the provision of financial aid and diplomatic support but sometimes with direct military aid as well, to affect the course of the conflicts and advance Saudi interests.”

        • hezzies are terrorists

           yes the safavids didn’t succeed and thats why an iranian puppet is in power in Iraq. makes sense if your name is dateam.. another Einstein in the making.

        • dateam

          ok says the FOLTMAN first of all what did you expect after the ouster of saddam after all the majority of the population is shia isnt it? so whoever the president is if they come into power and they are shia are you going to use the same line? name me one leader in the middle east whose in power is not in power unless the west approves? theyve gotten rid of the old now and its in with the new….but when you want to  make assumptions just remeber assumption is the mother of all f ups….go through the history of iraq and count how many internal attacks have been carried out and who has carried them out and against who? finally whats in a name anyway especially when ur name is folt-man? and for the record my wifes name starts with D  and all my kids names start with A hence the name DATEAM….see you assume

      • Moe2000

        70% of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudi born and funded it’s on the pentagon/CIA briefing to the senate. How did Safavid Dynasty from the 15th century destroy Iraq? Did you know the Mullahs in Lebanon and Iraq where brought to Persia to teach the Persians Shia Islam by the Safavids so Iran did not export Shia Islam to Iraq if that’s what you are trying to point out.

        • hezzies are terrorists

           lmfao i bet those 70% were the same ones attacking the minority alawite dictatorship in Syria
          btw if you are going to quote figures then at least provide proof. any jahash can hee haw out of its ass without proof

        • hezzies are terrorists

           lmfao i bet those 70% were the same ones attacking the minority alawite dictatorship in Syria
          btw if you are going to quote figures then at least provide proof. any jahash can hee haw out of its ass without proof

        • dateam

          moe you might want to pass this onto mr folt-man….Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.
          “More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
          “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said.
          Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
          The cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments do little to stop them.
          The problem is particularly acute in Saudi Arabia, where militants soliciting funds slip into the country disguised as holy pilgrims, set up front companies to launder funds and receive money from government-sanctioned charities.
          One cable details how the Pakistani militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, used a Saudi-based front company to fund its activities in 2005.
          Meanwhile officials with the LeT’s charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, travelled to Saudi Arabia seeking donations for new schools at vastly inflated costs – then siphoned off the excess money to fund militant operations.
          Militants seeking donations often come during the hajj pilgrimage – “a major security loophole since pilgrims often travel with large amounts of cash and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry into Saudi Arabia”. Even a small donation can go far: LeT operates on a budget of just $5.25m (£3.25m) a year, according to American estimates.
          Saudi officials are often painted as reluctant partners. Clinton complained of the “ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist funds emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”.
          Washington is critical of the Saudi refusal to ban three charities classified as terrorist entities in the US. “Intelligence suggests that these groups continue to send money overseas and, at times, fund extremism overseas,” she said.
          There has been some progress. This year US officials reported that al-Qaida’s fundraising ability had “deteriorated substantially” since a government crackdown. As a result Bin Laden’s group was “in its weakest state since 9/11” in Saudi Arabia.
          Any criticisms are generally offered in private. The cables show that when it comes to powerful oil-rich allies US diplomats save their concerns for closed-door talks, in stark contrast to the often pointed criticism meted out to allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

        • dateam

          moe you might want to pass this onto mr folt-man….Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.
          “More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
          “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said.
          Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
          The cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments do little to stop them.
          The problem is particularly acute in Saudi Arabia, where militants soliciting funds slip into the country disguised as holy pilgrims, set up front companies to launder funds and receive money from government-sanctioned charities.
          One cable details how the Pakistani militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, used a Saudi-based front company to fund its activities in 2005.
          Meanwhile officials with the LeT’s charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, travelled to Saudi Arabia seeking donations for new schools at vastly inflated costs – then siphoned off the excess money to fund militant operations.
          Militants seeking donations often come during the hajj pilgrimage – “a major security loophole since pilgrims often travel with large amounts of cash and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry into Saudi Arabia”. Even a small donation can go far: LeT operates on a budget of just $5.25m (£3.25m) a year, according to American estimates.
          Saudi officials are often painted as reluctant partners. Clinton complained of the “ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist funds emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”.
          Washington is critical of the Saudi refusal to ban three charities classified as terrorist entities in the US. “Intelligence suggests that these groups continue to send money overseas and, at times, fund extremism overseas,” she said.
          There has been some progress. This year US officials reported that al-Qaida’s fundraising ability had “deteriorated substantially” since a government crackdown. As a result Bin Laden’s group was “in its weakest state since 9/11” in Saudi Arabia.
          Any criticisms are generally offered in private. The cables show that when it comes to powerful oil-rich allies US diplomats save their concerns for closed-door talks, in stark contrast to the often pointed criticism meted out to allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

        • Moe2000
        • Moe2000
      • dateam

        ok says the FOLTMAN first of all what did you expect after the ouster of saddam after all the majority of the population is shia isnt it? so whoever the president is if they come into power and they are shia are you going to use the same line? name me one leader in the middle east whose in power is not in power unless the west approves? theyve gotten rid of the old now and its in with the new….but when you want to  make assumptions just remeber assumption is the mother of all f ups….go through the history of iraq and count how many internal attacks have been carried out and who has carried them out and against who? finally whats in a name anyway especially when ur name is folt-man? and for the record my wifes name starts with D  and all my kids names start with A hence the name DATEAM….see you assume

    • Mahdi Kenaani

      i feel so sorry for my syrian and bahraini brothers who both suffer on a daily basis. may allah help them

  • Moe2000

    What a shame…… Syria is being turned into utter chaos and anarchy by foreign funded  Al Qaeda Mercenaries. This is what Al Saud did to Iraq and are doing even worse to Syria. While the people have a right to democracy this is not the way. Foreign country’s are taking advantage of the Syrian peoples need for political change and using it to destroy Syria from within because of the governments political stance. Look at Bahrain is anyone arming the Bahraini people?

    • Mahdi Kenaani

      i feel so sorry for my syrian and bahraini brothers who both suffer on a daily basis. may allah help them

  • Moe2000

    What a shame…… Syria is being turned into utter chaos and anarchy by foreign funded  Al Qaeda Mercenaries.

    •  ” This is what Al Saud did to Iraq…” Not that I agree with the saudi dictators (the only country named after a family) but your comment is just ludicrous. Every educated person who is honest knows its the safavids in iran who destroyed Iraq with the help of the yanks and zionists. 

      • dateam

        During the Iraqi invasion Saudi Arabia was directly supporting Sunni groups as well as other groups in Iraq. Saudi’s in this case are playing both sides of the field, supporting Sunni groups that could be part of the opposition groups in Iraq responsible for fighting against the Americans. It has been rumored, though not supported by clear evidence, that Iran has tried to influence the same sectarian divides in Iraq and have been not nearly successful as Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has had a history of manipulating and influencing sectarian divisions in other inter-Arab conflicts. “Most notably in Yemen and Lebanon, the Saudis have developed close ties with various parties, mainly through the provision of financial aid and diplomatic support but sometimes with direct military aid as well, to affect the course of the conflicts and advance Saudi interests.”

        •  yes the safavids didn’t succeed and thats why an iranian puppet is in power in Iraq. makes sense if your name is dateam.. another Einstein in the making.

        • dateam

          ok says the FOLTMAN first of all what did you expect after the ouster of saddam after all the majority of the population is shia isnt it? so whoever the president is if they come into power and they are shia are you going to use the same line? name me one leader in the middle east whose in power is not in power unless the west approves? theyve gotten rid of the old now and its in with the new….but when you want to  make assumptions just remeber assumption is the mother of all f ups….go through the history of iraq and count how many internal attacks have been carried out and who has carried them out and against who? finally whats in a name anyway especially when ur name is folt-man? and for the record my wifes name starts with D  and all my kids names start with A hence the name DATEAM….see you assume

      • Moe2000

         70% of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudi born and funded.

        •  lmfao i bet those 70% were the same ones attacking the minority alawite dictatorship in Syria
          btw if you are going to quote figures then at least provide proof. any jahash can hee haw out of its ass without proof

        • dateam

          moe you might want to pass this onto mr folt-man….Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.
          “More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
          “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said.
          Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
          The cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments do little to stop them.
          The problem is particularly acute in Saudi Arabia, where militants soliciting funds slip into the country disguised as holy pilgrims, set up front companies to launder funds and receive money from government-sanctioned charities.
          One cable details how the Pakistani militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, used a Saudi-based front company to fund its activities in 2005.
          Meanwhile officials with the LeT’s charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, travelled to Saudi Arabia seeking donations for new schools at vastly inflated costs – then siphoned off the excess money to fund militant operations.
          Militants seeking donations often come during the hajj pilgrimage – “a major security loophole since pilgrims often travel with large amounts of cash and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry into Saudi Arabia”. Even a small donation can go far: LeT operates on a budget of just $5.25m (£3.25m) a year, according to American estimates.
          Saudi officials are often painted as reluctant partners. Clinton complained of the “ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist funds emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”.
          Washington is critical of the Saudi refusal to ban three charities classified as terrorist entities in the US. “Intelligence suggests that these groups continue to send money overseas and, at times, fund extremism overseas,” she said.
          There has been some progress. This year US officials reported that al-Qaida’s fundraising ability had “deteriorated substantially” since a government crackdown. As a result Bin Laden’s group was “in its weakest state since 9/11” in Saudi Arabia.
          Any criticisms are generally offered in private. The cables show that when it comes to powerful oil-rich allies US diplomats save their concerns for closed-door talks, in stark contrast to the often pointed criticism meted out to allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

        • Moe2000
      • dateam

        ok says the FOLTMAN first of all what did you expect after the ouster of saddam after all the majority of the population is shia isnt it? so whoever the president is if they come into power and they are shia are you going to use the same line? name me one leader in the middle east whose in power is not in power unless the west approves? theyve gotten rid of the old now and its in with the new….but when you want to  make assumptions just remeber assumption is the mother of all f ups….go through the history of iraq and count how many internal attacks have been carried out and who has carried them out and against who? finally whats in a name anyway especially when ur name is folt-man? and for the record my wifes name starts with D  and all my kids names start with A hence the name DATEAM….see you assume

    • Mahdi Kenaani

      i feel so sorry for my syrian and bahraini brothers who both suffer on a daily basis. may allah help them