Unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle shot Ahmed Abdul-Qadir, founder of Syrian website Eye on the Homeland, with silenced pistols as they rode past him on Sunday in the south-eastern Şanlıurfa province.
Militants with the Islamic State group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack shortly afterward via the group’s Amaq news agency.
Sunday’s attack was the second that Abdul-Qadir survived in three months, according to news reports. In March, two unidentified men attacked him outside of his apartment building, but he escaped with minor injuries.
“The Turkish government’s ongoing failure to stop violence targeting Syrian journalists and the impunity with which Islamic State group adherents are allowed to continue committing crimes within Turkey’s borders is appalling,” IPI Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven M. Ellis said. “Turkey’s leaders have a responsibility to end these attacks and to bring the attackers to justice. The fact that so little has been done to uphold that responsibility is a disgrace.”
IPI noted in April that the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for murdering at least four Syrian journalists residing in Turkey in the previous six months.
In January, three suspects were detained for the December 2015 murder of Naji Jerf, a film director with the Syrian group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), which reports on Islamic State group atrocities. However, it is unclear whether legal proceedings against the suspects have moved forward, and the murderers of the other three journalists remain unpunished.
The Islamic State group reportedly claimed responsibility for the October 2015 murder of Abdul-Qadir’s brother, Ibrahim, in October 2015. Ibrahim Abdul-Qadir was slain with fellow journalist Fares Hamadi. The pair worked for Eye on the Homeland and RBSS, two of the few remaining independent media outlets with stringers in Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria.
On Jan. 22, Ahmed Abdul-Qadir and other Syrian journalists met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in which they shared the challenges they continued to face. Erdoğan said that terrorist organisations like the Islamic State group “pose a serious problem,” but reportedly offered no resolution or protections for the journalists.