Late on June 18, Mustafa al-Khalaf, a journalist working as correspondent for Turkey-based Syria TV was abducted in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
Zaman al-Wsl, a pro-opposition outlet, said al-Khalaf was abducted by unidentified gunmen as he was driving his car on the Ma’arrat Misrin-Idlib road. The gunmen tied up the journalist and then violently assaulted him for several hours.
Al-Khalaf’s car, phone, camera, personal handgun and an amount of money he was carrying were stolen by the gunmen, who eventually ditched him near the town of Ma’arrat Misrin.
تعرض الإعلامي الإرهابي مصطفى الخلف أبو زياد، مراسل تلفزيون سوريا التابع لعصابات الإرهاب، لعملية تشليح وضرب مبرح، داخل مدينة إدلب..😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/gCu00rpSxL
— Muhammad Alyounes (@mhmdalywns56) June 19, 2020
— عبدالرحمن للإعلام (@abdulrhman570) June 19, 2020
Following the incident, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) deployed additional security forces on all roads in Greater Idlib.
These security forces themselves assaulted pro-opposition journalists that were covering the 16th Russian-Turkish patrol on the M4 highway a few weeks ago. The journalists were beaten up and some of their equipment were destroyed.