Reporter Kidnapped, Beaten in Northeast Syria

Syrian journalist Jindar Barakat, who was kidnapped and beaten Jan. 18, 2022, is shown in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of Jindar Barakat)

WASHINGTON — Tuesday started like any other day for Jindar Barakat. The reporter, who works part time at a currency exchange, was opening up the store in the northeastern Syrian city of Al-Hasakah.

“They were probably five men, all masked up,” Barakat said. “Two of them captured me, while the rest started to search the store, seizing my cellphone and other personal belongings.”

The 33-year-old was confused, but as he was blindfolded and bundled into a nearby vehicle, he suspected he was being targeted for his reporting for Yekiti Media.

The news website is affiliated with the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, one of several political parties that oppose the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the de facto ruling party in northeast Syria.

The PYD and its affiliated military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), control large parts of north and eastern Syria. The SDF has been a major U.S. partner in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.

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