Remembering American Journalist Killed In Suspicious Car Crash In Turkey After Entering Erdogan’s Crosshairs
DETROIT — American journalist and foreign correspondent Serena Shim documented Turkey’s role in the Syrian insurgency from the conflict’s earliest days, reporting firsthand on the presence of Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group commonly known as ISIS or ISIL in the West) and other al Qaida-affiliated militant groups operating freely along the Turkey-Syria border. She knew about the weapons transfers, the non-governmental organization trucks being driven into Syria by the militants themselves.
“I go to do reports at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing,” the young American reporter explained in early 2013, “and I don’t have to ask Turkish security for permission — I have to ask the militants for permission.”
It is a testament to Shim’s journalistic prescience that her life’s work has only grown more relevant since her untimely death in October 2014 at the age of 29. Along with the horrors of war in Syria and Iraq, her video reports and investigations likewise foreshadowed Turkey’s current political turmoil years in advance of last month’s failed military coup attempt.
Far from supplemental, Shim’s own story is bookended by the very work that she sacrificed so much of her life for. The Detroit native died while covering the ongoing siege by Daesh militants of the Syrian-Kurdish border city of Kobani for Iran’s PressTV. She was the lone fatality following a suspicious car crash in Turkey’s Sanliurfa province.