Deadly sniper shot through the lens

January 30, 2013

Ain Tarma neighbourhood, Damascus, Syria

By Goran Tomasevic

One moment, I heard two incoming shots. I was already aiming my camera on these two Syrian rebels. I heard the scream and saw one of them get shot. He was still alive as I was shooting but dying as he was carried away.

There was intensive fighting as the rebel group I was with in a Damascus neighborhood was trying to overtake a government checkpoint some 50 meters away. There was another group of rebels who were supposed to fire rocket propelled grenades from a further distance away from the checkpoint. After that, the group I was with was meant to engage the soldiers manning the checkpoint.

At the checkpoint I could clearly see sandbags and tanks. I didn’t look at the tanks anymore because I needed to take cover. I pulled back a little to look for the best position to take pictures and how to be covered in the best possible way.

There were two rebels next to me and two rebels across the street. A couple of sniper shots were fired. They were clearly sniper shots, not Ak’s, as they came one by one. I could clearly see through the lens when they actually shot the rebel. The rebel next to him was also shot and injured but he should recover after being hit in the stomach.

Full Focus Gallery: Shot by a sniper

After the rebel was killed they pulled back maybe 20-30 meters and I took pictures of the body being taken out. The hole where the rebels had to drag the body through was really small and it was difficult to drag him through. There was a lot of fire as the rebels dragged him away.

A tank fired a couple of shells onto the top of the building and rubble fell down around us.

The rebels kept on fighting for a few hours. It was heavy, with a lot of RPGs and attacks on multiple sites. They pulled back after a couple of hours of intensive fighting and fired some mortar shells.

From what I’ve seen the fighting is up and down. The lines between the Free Syrian Army and the government army are pretty clear. Since I’ve been here it’s literally been going house by house. The other day there was a rebel next to me who was struck by shrapnel. The rebels and the government forces are close enough to be throwing hand grenades at one another. You can hear them shouting at each other.

The lines seem to be pretty much the same. One day the government takes a couple of houses and then the rebels take a couple of houses again so it is pushing back and forth.

I’m covering several of the neighborhoods in Damascus so I hear some airstrikes or mortar shells all the time. Something is happening all the time.


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Oceania has never been at war with Eurasia

Posted by UncleLiberty | Report as abusive

Good stuff, more like this- one terrorist less. On the other side, a journalist was shot into a jaw and arm by Free Army sniper.

Posted by kommy | Report as abusive

Could anybody say where are blood stains? Anywhere, on the ground, on his wear? Do you really want to say that after shot from sniper rifle there is no single blood stain?? It’s one of the pathetic stage show from reuters. Cheers!

Posted by MAHHARIUS | Report as abusive

Go to hell the two of you. One of you doubts the death of a man the other scorns it. Your worse than the dirt between a freedom fighters feet, regardless of which side he’s on.

Posted by Direwolf8 | Report as abusive

If you look at photos two and three, you can see the two holes where the rounds went through man and wall. It appears that the men are looking for danger from the left, but the fire appears to have come from the right or from directly in front of him at best. Judging from him looking to the right in photo three, I would say the shots came from that direction. Based on the direction all visible weapons are pointing, the sniper was behind their lines. Either way the rounds came directly between the photographer and the soldier. Very stark pictures indeed.

Posted by Sanction | Report as abusive

It shows you the value of the expensive body armor and helmets US troops wear.

Posted by Discovery451 | Report as abusive

Unlike what you see in movies and video games, people are not 30 gallons of blood in a pressurized container of skin.

You’re not going to see dramatic sprays of blood just because they were shot.

Posted by Burns0011 | Report as abusive

these are the people the real american people love not wind bag politicos these people are fighting for there liberty how much aid has they american goverment gave there enemies

Posted by mrcamillon | Report as abusive

In the penultimate picture a rebel is shown clutching a gun and smoking. Does he not realise how dangerous smoking is?

Posted by bogwart | Report as abusive

The real losers are the civilians and the innocent children of Syria, the old and sick, those who have lived in peace for generations who are now refugees. Look at the destruction of the homes built by the sweat and blood of good people. Where is God in all of this?

…blessed are the peacemakers… ….not the war mongers…

Posted by stoneon | Report as abusive