Al-Tarsha, a videographer who documented unrest in the besieged city of Homs, was killed by a mortar round while filming the bombardment of the city's Qarabees District, according to news reports. The central city had been under daily attack for more than three weeks as the Syrian government's assault on opposition strongholds escalated in intensity. Al-Tarsha was the fourth media fatality in Homs within a week.
The 17-year old videographer regularly filmed clashes and military movements, and posted the footage on YouTube, news reports and local activists said. Al-Tarsha, who was also known as "Anas al-Homsi," had been interviewed by Arabic broadcasters for information about fatalities and attacks on the city. His footage appeared on the sites of citizen news organizations that publish thousands of videos documenting the violence.
Since the Syrian uprising began in 2011, the government sought to impose a blackout on independent news coverage. Authorities expelled or denied entry to dozens of international journalists, CPJ research shows, prompting international media to use footage shot by citizen journalists such as al-Tarsha.