A longtime Syrian dissident and vocal critic of the Assad regime and her American daughter were found dead in their apartment in Istanbul Turkey late Thursday night. After Orouba Barakat failed to show up for work Thursday, friends made the grisly discovery at the apartment where the two women had been living. Evidently, both had been choked and stabbed to death. Sixty-six-year-old Orouba Barakat was no stranger to controversy as an outspoken member of the Syrian National Coalition which opposed Bashar Al Assad during the ongoing civil war in that nation.
Her daughter Hala Barakat was an American citizen who was raised in Raleigh, NC and at twenty-three was well regarded as a journalist who had a bright future ahead of her. She had been working for Orient TV which was an opposition channel. In recent months, her Twitter feed had contained lamentations over the loss of civil defense workers who had been killed by the Assad regime and expressed her sadness over the destruction of the northern city of Aleppo which had been a rebel stronghold until pro-Assad forces recaptured it late last December. According to authorities, their bodies had been sprinkled with a chemical agent to prevent the smell of decomposition from spreading.