NBC News Suffers a Casualty in Syria

The Syrian may have died in a 'booby-trapped' house
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2019 11:35 AM CDT
Explosion Kills US Media Driver in Syria
A US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter stands on a rooftop overlooking Baghouz, Syria, after the SDF declared the area free of Islamic State militants after months of fighting on Saturday, March 23, 2019.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Dust was settling on the latest victory over Islamic State forces Saturday when a local driver working for NBC News got killed in an explosion. Most media are scant on details, but the AP says the unidentified driver was in a house that doubled as a Syrian Democratic Forces command post and media center in Baghouz when the explosive went off. As the Daily Beast headline reads in part, "Syrian driver killed in booby-trapped media house." Officially, NBC News is investigating: "Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones," NBC News President Noah Oppenheim says in a statement. "We are still gathering information from today’s events, and are in touch with the driver’s family to support them however we can."

An SDF spokesman says Baghouz, a village where the Islamic State made its last stand, is "full of all kinds of explosives." He adds that the SDF is detonating suicide belts and land mines the militants left behind. And while the defeat is a milestone against the Islamic State, Syrian fighters and US officials warn that the militant group has merely gone underground and is still staging fatal attacks, the New York Times reports. "While the caliphate may be dead, Islamic State as we know it may still be alive," said NBC correspondent Matt Bradley as he walked around the decimated village. (More Syria stories.)

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