UK journalists 'shelled' by Syrian forces

LONDON (AFP) - A British journalist working for Sky News reported on Thursday (May 23) that her team was deliberately shelled by Syrian forces, while an activist they were travelling with was hit by shrapnel.

"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," special news correspondent Alex Crawford said on the Sky News website.

"As we retreated to leave the area, the targeting of us continued," said the journalist, who was reporting in the jihadist-dominated northwestern province of Idlib.

She said that one of the Sky crew had press markings on his flak jacket, while the other was carrying a clearly visible green medical trauma pack.

"They were all clear violations of the normal standards of operation in a battle zone," she said, posting a dramatic video of the attack on her Twitter account.

"Even when we withdrew to the nearby town, Khan Shaykhun, some 10km away, the shelling followed us there and continued."

Rebel activist Bilal Abdul Kareem was hit in the chest by shrapnel, she said.

Syrian government aircraft bombed several towns in the region on Thursday, killing eight civilians as troops and militia battled jihadists on the ground, a monitor said.

The new bombardment of the region of Idlib followed strikes on Tuesday night and Wednesday that killed 23 civilians, 12 of them at a busy market.

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