The United States condemns the vicious murder of a television journalist in Turkey who worked courageously to expose the hypocrisy of the terrorist organization Daesh. The group, also known as ISIL, claimed responsibility for the attack that killed Zahir al-Sherqat of Halab Today TV. According to Turkish press reports, the Syrian journalist was shot in the neck at close range while walking in the city of Gaziantap. Al-Sherqat, an Imam who studied Islamic Law at Damascus University, had received death threats from Daesh in the past.
“We express our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. al-Sherqat, who is survived by his wife and young son,” said State Department spokesperson John Kirby.
Al-Sherqat organized protests against the Syrian regime in his home city of Al-Bab, where he also spoke out against extremist groups al-Nusrah and Daesh. He moved in 2014 to Turkey, where his work for Halab Today TV exposed the bankrupt ideology of extremist groups like Daesh.
This was Daesh’s fourth attack on a Syrian journalist in Turkey. “We stand ready to support Turkey as it works to bring to justice those responsible for attacks on the media,” said Spokesperson Kirby.
“Freedom of the press, including ensuring that journalists can safely report on the crisis in Syria, remains critical as reporters keep working to expose the truth about this brutal conflict and Daesh’s atrocities.”