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Media activists fear for their lives in southwestern Syria

BEIRUT — Several media activists and citizen journalists based in southwestern Syria appealed on Wednesday for help so that they can leave the region as it is on the verge of falling into the hands of government forces.

The appeal came as the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement saying that at least 70 Syrian journalists are trapped in the country’s southwest, where government forces have been on the offensive for three weeks.

The opposition media activists say they fear for their lives if captured by government troops, adding that some citizen journalists went missing after Syrian forces took the eastern suburbs of the capital, Damascus, earlier this year and that their fate remains unknown.

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Since June 19, government forces have captured most of southwestern Daraa province and control much of the border with Jordan. That has left most of the remaining citizen journalists trapped in nearby Quneitra province, along the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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‘‘We want to be evacuated from Quneitra to Turkey or any other place in the world,’’ said Quneitra-based citizen journalist Jalal al-Ahmad.

Al-Ahmad and two other citizen journalists said Russia-brokered deals to evacuate Syrian rebels and their families from the region do not include media activists.

ASSOCIATED PRESS