International News Safety Institute

20 November 2022  |  CPJ

Essam Abdullah


Reporter killed during Turkish airstrikes in northern Syria

Cause of death



Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reporter Essam Abdullah was killed on November 20, 2022, during Turkish airstrikes in northern Syria, according to an ANHA executive and news reports.

ANHA is a news agency affiliated with the Kurdish administration of northeast Syria and broadcasts in six different languages.

The Turkish strikes on Kurdish militant bases in northern Syria and northern Iraq left dozens—including at least 11 civilians—dead a week after a deadly bombing on an Istanbul street. Turkish authorities blamed the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG) for the Istanbul attack; both groups have denied the charge.

According to an ANHA report, Abdullah headed toward a bombed area in the village of Tqil Baqil in the northeastern Syrian city of Derik after the first round of airstrikes. He was killed while reporting there when Turkish aircraft bombed the area again.

According to ANHA, Abdullah started working in journalism in 2013 as a reporter for Kurdish broadcaster Ronahi TV. In July 2018, he joined ANHA as a reporter, and covered a wide variety of topics for the news agency.

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