Three Westerners Killed By Syrian Forces
AL ARABIYA, CNN (US), BBC NEWS (UK), REUTERS, AFP.
IDLIB – Three westerners, including an American woman and a British man, suspected of working with the opposition, have been killed by Syrian forces in the northwest of the country, AFP reported Friday.
The deaths occurred on Wednesday, though only confirmed Friday, Al Arabiya reports. “They were shot dead during an ambush in the Idlib region and the army found them with maps of military positions,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
“The three had apparently been taking photos of military positions on the road between Harim, near the border with Turkey, and the town of Idlib further south when government troops ambushed them”, he added.
One of the victims has been identified as Nicole Mansfield, a 33-year-old American citizen, who had converted to Islam about five years ago, her family told Reuters on Thursday. "Evidently, she was fighting with opposition forces,” said her aunt, Monica Mansfield Speelman.
The British citizen has not been identified yet, but the spokesman for the SOHR said that he was Muslim, and that he came from London, the BBC reports.
Obcokrajowcy zginÄ™li w Syrii - Westerners killed in #Syria#assad@Wiadomosci_PRhttp://t.co/GJCgHrBQmCpic.twitter.com/X35wccdWQr
— Wojciech Cegielski (@wojciechce) May 31, 2013
The UK Foreign Office said it was aware of the claims and was trying to verify them, while the US is working through the Czech Republic mission in Syria to obtain more information, a State Department official told CNN, on condition of anonymity.
The nationality of the third victim has not been confirmed yet, but he or she was described as a Westerner on Syrian TV, CNN reports.