On December 12, Syrian journalist Hussein Khattab was assassinated in the Turkish-occupied city of al-Bab in the northern Aleppo countryside.
Opposition sources said two unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle shot and killed Khattab near the gate of al-Bab’s graveyard early in the morning. The gunmen managed to escape the crime scene without being noticed.
Khattab worked as a correspondent of the Turkish state-run TRT Arabic TV. He was also a co-chairman of of the Media Union in Aleppo and its Countryside.
In September, Khattab survived a previous assassination attempt. Back then he blaimed Ahmad al-Abdullah, a warlord from his hometown al-Safirah. Khattab filed a complaint to the Free Syrian Police, a law enforcement body backed by Turkey. However, no action was taken.
Khattab may have been killed by al-Abdullah as a result of their personal disagreement. However, the style of the assassination, which appeared to be well-throughout, indicates that ISIS may be responsible.
In the last few months, ISIS cells assassinated a number of militants and local figures in northern Aleppo. All of them were affiliated with Turkey.
The assassination of Khattab is an example of the state of lawlessness prevailing over Turkish-occupied areas in northern and northeastern Syria. Ankara has been doing very little to secure these areas.
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