In a signal that journalists are being targeted by both sides in the civil war in Syria, a pro-regime Iranian reporter was killed by sniper fire apparently from rebel soldiers. It's a new angle to the disturbing pattern we've seen so far in this conflict, where most of the killings or kidnappings of foreign journalists have been done by the government.
A sniper shot Press TV correspondent Maya Nasser in the neck while he was on the air, according to Al Jazeera, and injured the state-funded news network's bureau chief Hossein Mortada in the same attack. Nasser was reporting about twin bombings in Damascus, including an attack on a military compound in the capital city that Reuters reports "gutted the army command headquarters." Iran, which supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has been accused of shipping arms to his forces, placed the blame for the attack on the West and those countries providing weapons to the rebels. "We hold Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who provide militants weapons to kill civilians, military personnel and journalists, responsible for the killing of Maya,' Hamid Reza Emadi, Press TV news director, said in Press TV's own coverage of the shooting.
So far, most of the foreign journalists killed have been hit by regime fire. American newspaper reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik both died in shelling by regime forces in February that later was reported to have targeted them. Japanese television reporter Mika Yamamoto was killed in August in what was reported to be a targeted shooting. American reporter Austin Tice was taken into custody by the Syrian regime, which is reportedly still holding him. So the attack by rebels on a journalist from a country that's friendly to the regime mirrors the Syrian army's tactics, but in reverse.