Shifa Gardi, 30, is remembered as a beloved journalist in a male-dominated profession
She died while reporting from the front lines as Iraqi troops battle ISIS for Mosul
A reporter and anchor for an Iraqi Kurdish TV station was killed Saturday while working on the front lines as Iraqi forces battle ISIS for the city of Mosul.
Shifa Gardi, 30, a beloved journalist in a male-dominated profession, died in a roadside bomb blast that also injured her cameraman, Younis Mustafa, according to her employer, Rudaw.
Bayan Sami Rahman, the Kurdish government’s representative to the United States and a former journalist, tweeted that Kurdistan “has lost a courageous and professional journalist who cracked the glass ceiling.”
Gardi had been live on TV hours before her death, reporting from western Mosul with Iraqi forces in the background. She joined the Kurdish media network in 2013.
The network paid tribute to Gardi on its website Saturday, recalling her empathy earlier this week when she earlier rescued an injured rabbit during fighting outside Iraq’s second-largest city and ISIS’ last stronghold.
“The rabbit is suffering from malnutrition, which has caused visible damage to its face,” she said after returning to the newsroom with the animal.
“We will be treating the rabbit and then give it to an animal protection agency which is willing to look after it.”
Douglas Silliman, the US ambassador to Iraq, sent his condolences to Gardi’s family and friends on Twitter. “Very sad news,” he wrote.
Gardi, who was born a refugee in Iran in 1986, graduated from Salahaddin University in Irbil, according to Rudaw. She started her journalism career in 2006.
“Shifa Gardi was one of Rudaw’s most daring journalists,” the station said in a statement.
Falah Mustafa, minister of the foreign relations department for the Kurdistan Regional Government, described Gardi in a tweet as “a brave journalist” and “role model to young women.”
Quentin Sommerville, the BBC’s Middle East correspondent, tweeted that Gardi was “intrepid and determined.”
Iraqi forces are advancing on western Mosul after taking the city’s east. The second stage of the operation could be especially dangerous for civilians as Iraqi troops try to secure densely populated areas amid ISIS resistance, humanitarian groups warn.