A prominent Syrian opposition activist, whose campaigns were well-known around the world, has been shot dead in Idlib province, according to local activists.
Raed Fares, a civil society activist and broadcaster, was shot dead by unknown assailants in the southern Idlib town of Kafranbel on Friday, along with friend and fellow opposition activist Hamoud Jneed.
Fares had been a prominent opponent of both President Bashar al-Assad’s government and hardline militant groups such as the Islamic State (IS) and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is led by al-Qaeda’s former Syrian branch.
Salman, 33, a maths teacher who lives in Kafranbel and witnessed the incident, told Middle East Eye that people were gathering for Friday prayers to buy breakfast when the attack took place.
“A van came at high speed and fired shots from a machine gun, before speeding away,” said Salman.
“People then tried to take the injured to hospital but some were already dead.”
Fares was transferred to Orient Hospital, but Jneed died immediately as a result of the shooting.
Dozens of civilians attended the funeral on Friday.
The murals and banners – often in English – drawn up and presented on social media by Fares and other activists in Kafranbel the the early years of the Syrian uprising earned the town the moniker of the “conscience of the revolution“. [Continue reading…]