Six years after her suspicious death, Press TV reporter Serena Shim is remembered as one of the first journalists to have exposed the involvement of the US-led Western countries and their regional allies in igniting the foreign-sponsored terrorism in Syria, a daring act of investigative journalism for which she paid with her life.
The investigative reporter died in October 2014 while covering the ongoing siege by the Daesh Takfiri group of the Syrian-Kurdish border city of Kobani for Iran’s Press TV. She was the lone fatality following a suspicious car crash in Turkey’s Sanliurfa province.
She was reporting firsthand on the presence of Daesh and other al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups operating freely along the Turkey-Syria border. She revealed the weapons transfers and the trucks being driven into Syria by the terrorists themselves.
Shim had gathered evidence of militant training camps operating near the Turkey-Syria border.
She was, in her own words, one of the first, if not the first, on the ground to report on “Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border”. These include not only Daesh but also terrorists from the so-called Free Syrian Army.
As Shim’s sister Fatmeh Shim stated in 2015, “She caught them bringing high-ranked Daesh members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps.”
Shim said trucks belonging to some international aid agencies were being used to funnel terrorists’ arms into Syria, and stated this in her last interview, just one day before being killed.
On October 19, 2014, Shim, along with her camerawoman, was returning to their hotel after preparing a report near Kobani south of the Turkish border, where a heated battle was taking place between Daesh and the city’s defendants.
Early reports claimed that Shim died at the scene while later accounts suggested that she passed away due to heart failure after being transferred to hospital nearly 30 minutes later. Shim’s camerawoman, who had been transported to a different hospital, survived the incident.
Turkish authorities blamed Shim’s camerawoman, who had been driving the vehicle, for the crash. No further inquiry was reported to have been carried out by Ankara.
Many doubts, however, linger regarding the official testimony provided by the Turkish officials.
Today’s Zaman reported that prosecutors were seeking six years in prison for the operator of the concrete mixer instead, accusing the driver of causing “death through negligence.” The trial, allegedly set for March 2015, never occurred.
Six years following her unfortunate death, no further information has been released regarding the fatal accident.
Observers have pointed out that “car accidents” have been a “commonplace method” used by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to get rid of people it doesn’t like.
Although all signs point to foul play, until now the US government has neither conducted nor demanded an inquiry into the events of the alleged car accident which Turkish officials say was the cause of Shim’s death.
Two weeks after the incident, the US State Department issued a brief statement regarding Shim, who was an American citizen of Lebanese origin, saying that it “does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas.”
The journalist’s tragic death came only two days after Shim had spoken out live on Press TV about being targeted by the MIT, who had accused her of being a “spy” while the journalist covered the latest developments in Turkey and Syria.
“I am a bit worried, because as you know and as the viewers know, Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened what they might use against me.”
Shim explained that she had been targeted for her investigative reports regarding Ankara’s direct support for terrorist groups, such as Daesh in Syria, whose evidence had been largely concealed at the time.
“We were some of the first people on the ground, if not the first people on the ground, to get that story of those Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border — the Bab al-Hawa border — being sent in. I’ve got images of them in World Food Program trucks. It was very apparent that they were Takfiri militants by their beards and by the clothes that they wore. And they were going in there with NGO trucks,” she said.
The 29-year-old reporter had been described by her colleagues as an aspiring journalist with much potential. The young journalist had spent years working in various dangerous conflict zones such as Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Ukraine.
The Turkish government has been accused of supporting various terrorist groups seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the onset of the foreign-backed terrorism nine years ago.
Over the past four years, the Turkish military has staged at least two unauthorized incursions into northern Syria to push back against Kurdish militants, whom Ankara says seek to overthrow the Turkish government.
The aggression prompted the areas’ Kurdish population to ask the Syrian government for protection against the Turkish forces.
Ankara, which backs Syria’s anti-government militants, currently has hundreds of Turkish troops in the northwest of the Arab country.
In recent years, Western terrorists within the ranks of Daesh in Syria and Iraq have been seeking their countries’ help to secure their return to their motherlands as the Takfiri group continues to suffer heavy losses in the two Arab countries.
Some of the Daesh terrorists have contacted diplomatic missions in Turkey while others have secretly sought their governments’ help in leaving dwindling Daesh-held territory. (PressTV)