Moment RT crew's car hit by mortar shell in Syria caught on camera (VIDEOS)
The crew was in a car driving along a road near the village of Al-Dagmashliya in Latakia province. Shortly after they approached a group of people in military outfits, the car was struck by an outside explosion. Leaving the vehicle, a cameraman from the crew recorded a second blast while the area became engulfed in dust. The RT crew escaped, escorted by armed Syrians. The reporters speak into the camera to offer reassurance that “no one has been killed.”
However, as a result of the blasts, RT’s Roman Kosarev sustained shell-shock and concussion, while RT Arabic’s Sargon Hadaya was injured by pieces of shrapnel in his back and shoulder. A third reporter – from the TASS news agency – who was also traveling in the car was injured by shrapnel in his hand.
The RT reporters said after they had left the car they were quickly taken to a hideout by the Syrian military.
Immediately after the incident, the two crew members managed to record a follow-up report on what had happened. Kosarev said his RT Arabic colleague had escaped serious wounds as he “had two shrapnel rounds landed right on the back of his bulletproof vest,” and that “you can see his microphone is also bloody.”
“One of our colleagues, he got piece of shrapnel in his arm, but he is OK and no one is dead,” Kosarev adds.
The two were told by the Syrian military their car was allegedly hit by a “self-propelled rocket” fired from the Al Nusra-controlled town of Salma, which lies approximately 2.5 kilometers from where the crew was recording.
Afterwards, the RT correspondents were taken to Russia’s military base in Latakia and received medical treatment. They are now said to be completely safe and out of harm’s way.
“We are now in a hospital at Latakia Russian [air] base, our lives and health are out of danger. I sustained shell-shock while my RT Arabic colleague was injured – it was his bulletproof vest that saved him. Everything is alright with us now,” Kosarev says.
Both correspondents will spend a couple of days in hospital, Kosarev later told RIA Novosti.
“We have received the necessary medical care and feel good. Doctors say we will stay in hospital a couple of days,” he said.
Syrian Minister of Information Omran Al-Zoubi condemned the attack on the Russian correspondents.
“The attack on the RT team is a new crime committed by terror groups and the states which are sponsoring and equipping militants – primarily, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It is a desperate attempt to keep the truth from the world,” he said.
Roman Kosarev is an RT special correspondent who has covered various conflict hot spots extensively. In particular, he reported from the Donetsk Region in Eastern Ukraine, where local rebels have been fighting government forces.
Dozens of journalists have been killed and hundreds injured while reporting on the Syrian war since 2011. The unrest, which started over four years ago as protests considered part of the so-called Arab Spring, was used by Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants to gain control over swaths of Syria.