Dramatic footage has revealed the shocking moment a Sky News crew were targeted in Idlib with huge shells heard in the video. Sky News’ Special Correspondent, Alex Crawford, claims her team were attacked with tank shells, from Syrian regime forces. The Sky News reporter also claimed an activist they were travelling with was hit by shrapnel, with the dramatic footage showing the moment they were targeted.
In the footage, a massive explosion is heard, before Sky producer Martin Vowles shouts “go, go, go” as the group flee.
The five-strong group rushed through clouds of dust towards their car, and say they were tracked by a military drone.
Ms Crawford claimed her colleagues were fired upon by a “T-72 Russian battle tank” in the abandoned countryside town of Al Habit.
Writing on the Sky News website, she said: “The area we were in was deserted as all the civilians had fled.
“We were spotted by a military drone and then repeatedly shot at with what we believe were 125mm shells probably fired from a T-72 Russian battle tank. As we retreated to leave the area, the targeting of us continued.
“Even when we withdrew to the nearby town, Khan Shaykhun, some 10km away, the shelling followed us there and continued.
“They were all clear violations of the normal standards of operation in a battle zone.
“We had just been filming a burning armoured vehicle in an area where there had clearly been fresh fighting when a bullet came in, hitting the metal on the vehicle. We had suddenly become the new targets.
“We all withdrew and ran for cover, trying to pick our way back through the broken and busted buildings all around us.
“The military drone hovered above us and we could hear the sound of an aircraft homing in.
“As we hid in a partial doorway to try to avoid running straight down an open road exposing ourselves, the first shell came in.”
She added: “The intentional targeting of journalists is also a breach of international standards.”
Ms Crawford said one of the crew was wearing a flak jacket with clear press markings and the other was carrying a “clearly marked green medical trauma pack”.
Idlib, a city in northwest Syria, is supposedly covered by a de-escalation deal agreed by Russia and Turkey last autumn but has been broken this year as rebel forces at the regime clash over territory.
During the assault Ms Crawford was wearing a black abaya, a full-length Muslim dress, to “observe cultural sensitivities” during Ramadan.
The attack continued after the group reached Khan Shaykhun and one of the activists, Bilal Abdul Kareem travelled separately to a hospital.