An American TV journalist, who was accused by Ankara of spying – following her recent story blaming Turkey of allowing Islamic State militants to cross into Kobane, died in a car accident on Sunday.
Serena Shim, an American citizen with Lebanese origin, was killed in a “suspicious” car accident near the Turkey-Syria border, reported Iran-based Press TV – the deceased journalist’s employer.
According to the report, Shim was killed on Sunday in the city of Suruc in Turkey’s Urfa Province, when her car collided with a heavy vehicle while she was going back to her hotel from a report scene.
The police claim they have not been able to locate the truck or the driver yet. Neither the ‘heavy vehicle’ nor the driver involved in the crash have been located after the incident, Press TV claimed, adding that her parents ‘refused to believe’ the crash had been an accident and are planning to pursue the matter legally.
Shim came to Syria to cover the ongoing war in the strategic Syrian town of Kobane. Shim is specialised in Middle East affairs, with special focus on Lebanon, Iraq and Ukraine.
The accident has created an air of suspicion on Turkey as Shim had told Press TV on Friday that the Turkish intelligence agency has accused her of spying, following her stories which exposed Turkey’s support to the ISIS.
Shim reportedly told her employer that she feared Ankara was watching her moves and would try to arrest her.
In her last on-air interview, Shim had told Turkey that she was “surprised” at the accusation as she has nothing to hide and has never done anything, aside her job.
Shim, a mother of two, has done several stories on ISIS militants infiltrating into Syria, through the Turkish border. In one of her reports, the journalist had shown images of militants crossing the Turkish border into Syria, by hiding in World Food Organization (WFO)and other NGOs’ trucks.
The Iranian state-run Fars News Agency reported that Shim’s family doubts if it was really a “car accident”.
Shim’s family reportedly stated that they suspect if the Turkish authorities are responsible for the death of the journalist. The report claims her parents now want to pursue the matter legally.
Kobane has been under the attack of the Islamic State in recent weeks. Turkey, despite being its closest neighour, has refused to help Kurdish fighters. There has been several reports, accusing Turkey of assisting the militants.
Reports claim that Turkey not only trained the militants in the country but has also supplied satellite images and several key information to the ISIS, to assist the group in its battle against Kurdish fighters.
International Business Times by Johnlee Varghese October 20, 2014