Safe Place? Another Anti-ISIS Syrian Activist Assassinated in Turkey

A new assassination of a Syrian anti-ISIS activist took place in Turkey on Sunday. Naji al-Jarf received an approval as of asylum in France and was about to move from the Middle East just the next day.

The renowned activist, journalist and filmmaker, Naji al-Jarf recently directed and produced a documentary exposing the atrocities of ISIS in Aleppo in 2013 and 2014.

He was murdered in southwestern Turkish city of Gaziantep, lying 50 km (31 miles) from the border with the Syrian territory, currently occupied by Daesh, media reported.

The city has become a refuge for thousands of Syrian activists fleeing the terror of the self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’. Gaziantep was regarded a safer place than some other Turkish towns bordering with Syria.

“Gaziantep remains a gathering place for Syrians due to its proximity to the border and relative safety compared to Antakya and Reyhanli, which have both seen anti-Syrian violence,” Souria Houria association wrote in a statement earlier this year.

Al-Jarf, 37 and a father of two, was reportedly shot dead on Sunday by a handgun with a silencer while shopping for his family. Turkish authorities have launched an investigation, though the motive remains unknown, according to Today’s Zaman daily. Al-Jarf was about to resettle to France with his family on Monday as he was granted political asylum, Esin E., a friend of his, said on twitter.

“I’m not afraid of political Islam or religious extremism, and I think that the concerns in this regard are exaggerated,” al-Jarf said in a statement published by Souria Houria in July. “Rather, I think the greatest danger lies in the fragmentation of the country into regions controlled by zaims [local strongmen], tribes and local military groups that impose their influence by bribing with aid and intimidating with weapons.”

Al-Jarf was a member of a group of Syrian activists Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) and also the chief editor of the Hentah newspaper.

In October, Ibrahim Abdul Qader, another Syrian activist with RBSS was decapitated along with a friend in the Turkish town of Sanliurfa by a Daesh assassin.

“We all thought Turkey would be safer, but apparently not,” Hamoud al-Mousa, another RBSS member who also resides in Turkey, told Al Jazeera at that time. “Unfortunately, none of us are safe here.”

About Carmen Munir Russell-Sluchansky 360 Articles
Carmen is a multimedia journalist based in Washington, DC whose work has appeared in a variety of outlets including National Geographic, NBC News, the BBC, Asia! Magazine, The China Post, Chicago Tribune and Orlando Sentinel.