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(WNN) Denver, Colorado, U.S., AMERICAS: She was living in Ankara, Turkey and working as a news correspondent in the northern Iraqi region of conflict when she lost her life. Perhaps she would say she was doing what she love to do. But the death of Kurdish woman journalist Deniz Fırat is tragic regardless of her quest to ‘get the story’.
Known by her family and close friends as Leyla Yıldızhan, Firat was working for the Firat News Agency (FNA) as a correspondent covering recent conflict in the region, as well as life in the Makhmour refugee camp, when an armed militia attack by extremist insurgents known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) killed her. During the attack she died quickly from a piece of shrapnel that had entered her heart.
It is uncertain whether Firat had a chance to say anything to colleagues who were there with her after she was mortally injured.
Embedded earlier as a reporter on-the-ground with members of the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK), Firat was known for her dedicated work in Kurdish media. Her news briefs were picked up by Kurdish media including Ronahi TB, Sterk TV and Med Nuce. The PKK has a long history of conflict in the fight that began as a militia that was formed to gain independence from Turkey. The hope in 1977 was to build an independent Kurdish region that also gave dignity for Kurdish identity, culture and language.
While current U.S. military operations inside Iraq are working today with the PKK, where women fight alongside men, to fight against ISIS as the organization remains to be classified by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Regardless of this the PKK has also been coming to the protective aid of northern Iraqi religious minority members, the Yazidis, who have a long history of discrimination and have been facing genocide annihilation and severe human rights atrocities from ISIS insurgent attacks. PKK operations have been working in tandem with U.S. military troop actions in the region.
When Firkat recently visited the Makhmour refugee camp, near the town of Maxmur, those who personally knew her have conveyed that she also visited some relatives who have their own years-long history of living in the camp.
Kurdish media has released that these same relatives of Deniz Ferat were not allowed to follow her funeral march because they were blocked and unable to cross the Habur Border that is the gateway to eastern Turkey in the Van Province where Ferat is set to be buried.
A recent emotional plea by Yazidi parliamentary member Ms. Vian Dakhil during an Iraqi Parliamentary meeting has brought the urgency in the needs for an immediate rescue of the Yazidi people, many who have been stranded on a mountain top during ISIS military operations in the northern Iraqi region, to the attention of the public. While some Yazidi members have been rescued others continue to remain stranded.
“She was exceptional, a brave activist woman. She had already lost two sisters in the struggle for the liberation of the Kurdish people. . .The Kurdish press agency Firat has condemned this attack conducted by the enemies of humanity who have taken the life of a journalist,” said a spokesperson from Firat News following the release on the killing of journalist Deniz Ferat.
While this televised Kurdish news release is not in English, images of woman journalist Deniz Ferat can be seen. This recent 2:32 minute video is a production of TRT HABER broadcasts.
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