Two Turkish journalists missing in Syria for four days

Arab World Materials 14 March 2012 08:30 (UTC +04:00)
Two Turkish journalists are missing in Syria for four days, state-run Anatolia news agency said.

"Gercek Hayat" magazine Middle East representative Adem Ozkose and camereman Hamit Coshkun went to restive Idlib, a town close to Turkey, a week ago. It is confirmed that the journalists are in Idlib but the magazine can't reach them for four days.

Since November, eight journalists have been killed while working in Syria, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. American war reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed during a rocket attack Feb. 22 in the city of Homs.

Last week, two French journalists, Edith Bouvier and William Daniels, returned home after an escape from Homs where they were trapped for nine days. British photographer Paul Conroy, who was injured in the attack that killed Colvin and Ochlik, also escaped.

Idlib, a predominantly Sunni city of some 150,000 people located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Homs, was among the first to fall in the hands of army defectors last summer. Opposition fighters were in control of a large parts of the city in the past months with troops present in some areas.

The Syrian army has recaptured most of the northern opposition stronghold of Idlib near the Turkish border, pushing hundreds of military defectors out of a major base they had held for months even as pockets of resistance kept up their fight on Tuesday.

Calls to the area were not going through, making it difficult to confirm the events of the past few days. Turkish journalists might be trapped in the city as the town is isolated from the rest of the world.

The UN refugee agency said 230,000 Syrians have fled their homes since the uprising against Assad's regime began last year. The UN says more than 7,500 people have been killed in the past 12 months.