Russia: Cameraman for slain RT Arabic journalist recounts tragedy of Al-Khatib's death

Moutaz Yaqub, the camera operator of the RT Arabic freelance journalist Khaled Al-Khatib, who was killed in an ambush by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL/ISIS), recounted his experience in an interview in Al-Salamiyah city on Tuesday. Yaqub said that he and Khaled Al-Khatib reached the village of Bghailiyah, in the eastern countryside of Homs, where they met an army post. «As... Еще we got there, the [army] post was ordered to deal with IS [forces that were] facing us. There was more than one type of weapon and tank that was used.» The man said that a first shell «hit IS members; then another shell was shot after a short while.» He continued, «I am not really sure whether [IS] shot a missile or a mortar, but I reckon it was more likely that a missile was fired against us, because it was somehow accurate. It targeted a gathering where martyr Khaled — may he rest in peace — was, [as well as] the brigadier who passed away, and the driver who was with us and who is still in the hospital, as his injuries are critical.» Yaqub added that after they were attacked «those who were not injured took us with pick-up trucks to a post which had an ambulance. Then we were taken to the Homs military hospital, where we received treatment.» The man said that while he and others were transported to seek treatment, no one knew what had happened and that Khaled Al-Khatib had died. «His death is a loss. May he rest in peace, he achieved martyrdom,» concluded Yaqub. Al-Khatib was accompanying troops of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) while they were on a mission to liberate the town of al-Sukhna, in the eastern countryside of Homs. They came under fire near Bghailiyah village where Al-Khatib was killed by an exploding rocket shell, head of RT's Damascus bureau Abdelhameed Tawfiq confirmed on Sunday. Al-Khatib had been working with RT since April 2017. RT's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said RT would do its utmost to help Al-Khatib’s family.
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