A young Syrian-American journalist and her mother, both well-known activists opposing the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, were found brutally murdered in their apartment in Istanbul on Thursday. Twenty-three-year-old Halla Barakat, who was born in America, worked as the English editor for the opposition site Orient News and also freelanced for ABC. Her mother, Dr. Orouba Barakat, was an active member of the Syrian National Coalition, a prominent expatriate opposition group, and had been exiled by the Syrian regime in the 1980s. Both women also did charity work for Syrian refugees living in Turkey and came from a large family that is well-known for its long history of challenging both Bashar al-Assad and his father before him, according to the New York Times. Indeed, family members are already accusing the Assad regime of having assassinated the women on foreign soil.
ABC News reports that the Barakats were strangled and stabbed to …
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