Deadly sniper shot through the lens
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.
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.