November 25, 2015 –
Anastasiya Nikova, Alexander Kots, Komsomolskaya Pravda –
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski
A group of Russian journalists came under fire in Syria yesterday. TASS correspondent Alexander Elistratov and RT journalists Sargon Khadaya and Roman Kosarev received shrapnel wounds. The reporter of the news agency has been wounded.
The incident took place in the residential district of Dagmashli. The cars of the reporters were hit by BGM-71 TOW missiles fired from the territory controlled by terrorists of the Islamic State.
“As of now, the entire group of Russian journalists has returned to the Hmemim airbase where the wounded are receiving medical aid,” the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported.
According to some information, the shell which hit the car with journalists was made in the US. Experts suggest that it could have fallen into the hands of militants from Turkey, or from the arsenals of the so-called armed Syrian opposition.
Report from Russia Today correspondent Roman Kosarev:
“We went to the territories liberated by the government army,” Kosarev told KP. “They had cleared it a few days ago. We went to the village of Dagmashli, which is around 20km from the Turkish border. We climbed mount Zuaek in a column. There were 17 of us. All of us were journalists, and we were all fully equipped with blue helmets and blue vests. We climbed to the top where, directly across from us was Nuba heights, which to this day remains under the control of al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda. They fired at us from there.
The first missile flew and hit the hillside, but we weren’t hit. We climbed down and began to wait for what would be next. Silence. We got back in the cars and drove on. I was riding in the back of a pick-up truck and the guys – my cameraman Sasha Zhukov, our Arab correspondent Sargon Khadaya, and TASS correspondent Alexander Elistratov – were in the car. At the turn, a rocket, most likely from a TOW anti-tank system, directly hit the engine of our car. We saw the tail part of it and there was English marking and the temperature was indicated in Fahrenheit. That is, it was made somewhere in a NATO country.
The guys were thrown around by the bang. Fragments flew into Sargon’s side and in the back through his bullet-proof vest. Zhukov got shrapnel in the shoulder. I have acoustic trauma, and soon it’ll be revealed whether I have a concussion. Well, we were just lucky. We hid for a few hours together with some Syrians, and they also had a pair of 300’s. We left through the mountains via the rear….We descended from the heights and were immediately brought to base. Here we have all the necessary equipment and the guys are being x-rayed and operated upon. They really take good care of us here. They clean us up and don’t let the injured leave.”