Foreign Ministry confirms it is aware of the situation and is working to locate the reporters
Three Spanish journalists have been missing in Syria since July 11, the last time they were contactable, according to government sources in Madrid. The three men – reporters Ángel Sastre, Antonio Pampliega and José Manuel López – were in the Syrian city of Alepo when contact was lost, diplomatic sources have confirmed.
The same government sources report that they do not have any indications of a kidnapping incident.
While the situation on the ground in Aleppo is fairly chaotic, the al-Nusra group is in control, an islamist militia allied with Al Qaeda.
Ángel Sastre has covered earthquakes, coup d’état and war zones. He regularly works with Spanish TV network Cuatro, radio station Onda Cero and daily La Razón. In October 2013, he spent a month reporting from Alepo, together with reporter Antonio Pampliega and photojournalist José Manuel López.
José Manuel López has spent 11 years working as a photographer, and has been a freelancer in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Kosove and Iran since 2010.
Around 40 journalists have been kidnapped or detained so far during the conflict in Syria.
Translation by Simon Hunter.
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Kidnap Fears as Spanish Journalists Go Missing in Syria
Three Spanish journalists missing after disappearing while covering Syrian civil war in Aleppo area.
By Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 7/21/2015, 8:21 PM / Last Update: 7/21/2015, 9:21 PM
Free Syrian Army fighter in Aleppo
Three Spanish freelance journalists have gone missing in Syria where they were reporting from the northwestern Aleppo region, the president of a Spanish press federation said on Tuesday.
Jose Manuel Lopez, Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre entered Syria on July 10 "and there has been no news of them since July 12", Elsa Gonzalez, president of the Federation of Press Associations of Spain, told national television.
"In that region there is intense fighting going on, so there is cause for concern," she said, but added: "For the moment we can only call it a disappearance."
Pampliega, a freelance journalist covering war zones, contributed to AFP's text coverage of Syria for a period up to 2013.
Lopez contributed photographs to AFP from Syria up to 2013, and has worked in various other war zones.
According to data on the website of the Madrid Press Association, Sastre has worked in various trouble spots around the world for Spanish television, radio and press.
Media rights group Reporters Without Borders ranked Syria in 2014 as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists.
Three other Spanish journalists were kidnapped in Syria in 2013.
El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova were held by ISIS for six months and freed in March 2014.
Earlier that same month another Spanish journalist, Marc Marginedas, a correspondent for the Catalan daily El Periodico, was also released after six months in captivity in Syria.
Aleppo - Syria's largest city an its once thriving commercial hub - is today a rubble-strewn ruin, as years of deadly civil war have taken their toll on the ancient city. Control of Aleppo and surrounding areas is currently split between forces loyal to the Assad regime, various rebel factions, ISIS and a small pocket of Kurdish forces.
Few western journalists venture into Syria due to fears of kidnap - either by criminal or rebel groups looking for ransom payments or, worse still, by ISIS, which has brutally executed several journalists and aid workers after holding them captive.
Meanwhile, the bloodshed in Aleppo continued amid a rebel offensive.
A missile fired by Syrian forces killed at least 18 civilians on Tuesday in a residential neighborhood of the old quarter of Aleppo city, a monitoring group said.
"The missile struck when people were still inside their homes in the Maghayir district. It killed 18 civilians, including one child, and wounded dozens of others," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"There are many people still stuck in the rubble, and ambulances are going back and forth transporting people," Abdel Rahman said.
Photos published by his Britain-based monitoring group showed crumbling walls surrounded by a sea of dusty cinderblocks.
Groups of men, some wearing the white helmets of civil defense volunteers, trudged through the rubble.
More than 35 homes were destroyed, the Observatory said.
Rights groups have criticizwd both sides for indiscriminate attacks on civilians, including with the regime's notorious barrel bombs.
The Observatory said running water was restored Tuesday in Aleppo after a cut of more than three weeks, apparently after an understanding between the regime and Al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, Al Nusra Front.
Al Nusra, which controls the pumping station in a rebel-held district, had cut off supplies to pressure the government to restore electricity to areas under its control.
The rebels turned the water back on after the regime caved in and restored electricity supplies, according to the Observatory.
Elsewhere in the war-battered country, the Syrian army and its allies from Lebanon's Shia terrorist group Hezbollah captured more territory inside Zabadani, the last rebel-held town on the two countries' border, the Observatory said.
They seized the Sahel district, driving out the rebels under heavy bombardment.
The two-week-old battle for Zabadani has cost the lives of at least 63 rebels and 21 Hezbollah fighters, according to the Observatory, which has not given a toll for the army.
Syria's conflict, which began in 2011 with anti-government protests, has degenerated into a multi-front civil war that has killed more than 230,000 people.
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