Senior U.S. diplomat William Roebuck on Saturday visited a Kurdish journalist in hospital in northern Syria’s Manbij where she is recovering from being shot by Turkish forces, Rudaw reported.
Two journalist, two members of Syrian Kurdish forces and a civilian, were reportedly lost their lives this week due to the shelling from the Turkish side targeting Kurdish-held northern Syrian territory, media reports.
“I wish you a quick recovery. You’re a brave woman,” Ambassador Roebuck told Gulistan Mohammed, in comments published by the Manbij Military Council.
The U.S. envoy Roebuck, an advisor to Brett McGurk who deals with Syria policy from the U.S. State Department and helps coordinate stabilisation efforts in Syria, stressed the important role that journalists and the media play in stability and security which was very important for the United States. Roebuck will meet with the Manbij civil administration before leaving.
The 20-year-old Mohammed was one of two journalists working for local media ANHA news who were injured in Turkish fire on Friday morning. She was shot in the face. In critical condition, she was transferred to Manbij for surgery and is now in intensive care, according to ANHA.
The other journalist, Ibrahim Ahmed Marto,19, was wounded in hand by a bullet. He was treated at Gire Spi General Hospital.
The two were covering Turkish attacks on villages and Kurdish forces in the Kobane and Gire Spi (Tal Abyad) area. ANHA said Turkish snipers deliberately targeted them.
The shelling by Turkey started last week and targeted areas held by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) which forms the backbone of the U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the battle against the Islamic State. However, Ankara considers the YPG as an extension of its own insurgent group Kurdistan Worker’s Party which took guns against the Turkish government in 1984. Both are seen as terrorist organisations by Turkey.
Turkey and the United States began joint patrols in neutral zones near Manbij on Friday. Ankara has threatened the YPG with military operations against them in Manbij and eastward. But Washington said that Turkish forces will not enter Manbij city, and the joint patrols are only to complement local security.