“In Syria, you have fluid battle lines, but you also have a more fluid mix of regular and irregular combatants—a less centralized insurgent force, and also government forces that are being supported in urban areas by militias,” says Frank Smyth, the senior security adviser at the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Smyth points to the dearth of reliable information coming out of the conflict as another factor rendering the situation in Syria dangerously confused—as Cantlie and Oerlemans discovered when they walked into a threatening situation along a route they had once known to be safe. “Not only is it fluid, you also have black holes of information, where there aren’t working journalists or citizen journalists on the ground who are able to report things in a timely manner,” he says. “So it makes it harder for those who are attempting to report to know which way to go.”
Read the Newsweek/Daily Beast story here.