Captured Turkish Journalist Released in Syria

Saturday, 17 Nov 2012 12:21 PM

 

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ISTANBUL, Turkey — A Turkish journalist captured by government troops in Syria three months ago has been freed and was handed over to Turkish lawmakers in Damascus on Saturday.

Meanwhile, rebels captured an airport used by Syria's military near the Iraqi border on Saturday, activists said, a move which they said would allow them to maintain their hold on the recently seized border town of Albu Kamal.

Cuneyt Unal, who works for the U.S.-funded al-Hurra television channel, went missing with Jordanian colleague Bashar Fahmi after crossing into Syria from Turkey on Aug. 20.

"I am with our deputies and am doing well," Unal was quoted as saying by Turkey's state-run Anatolian news agency, adding that he had not been harmed during his captivity.

Unal also told reporters his Jordanian colleague, who was also captured, had been badly injured in the waist during clashes in Aleppo. He said he was caught by the army as he was trying to help Fahmi. Unal said he didn't know what happened to Fahmi after they were captured.

About 20 journalists have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.

Al-Assad's forces retaliated for the rebels' capture of the airport by bombing it with fighter jets, said Ziad al-Amir, a local activist.

Video published by rebel groups showed fighters patroling a dusty desert air base in Syria's Deir al-Zor province. Plumes of grey smoke rose from some low concrete buildings as fighters examined several abandoned tanks.

Al-Assad has been struggling to put down the 20-month-old revolt against his rule, which began as peaceful protests but has morphed into a civil war that has spread to most of the country. Activists say more than 38,000 people have died.
 

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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