US condemns murder of Syrian-American journalist, mother

US condemns murder of Syrian-American journalist, mother
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The State Department is condemning the murders of an American-born journalist and her mother, who were found strangled and stabbed to death in Istanbul on Thursday.

Halla Barakat, a freelance journalist for Orient News, and her mother, Syrian activist Orouba Barakat, were both active in the opposition to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"The United States is deeply saddened by the deaths of Arouba and Hala Barakat," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Friday, using an alternative spelling of their names.

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"Hala served as a journalist for Orient News and we remember the courageous work of her mother, Arouba, a Syrian activist who reported on the Syrian regime’s atrocities," she wrote.

"The United States condemns the perpetrators of these murders and we will closely follow the investigation," she continued. "The United States continues to seek a peaceful, political resolution to the Syrian conflict that can be supported, owned, and led by the Syrian people."

Police are investigating the murders, but have made no arrests and have no suspects at this time, ABC News reported.

Orouba Barakat was active in the Syrian Opposition Council, an anti-Assad group consisting of Syrian expatriates.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit group that advocates for press freedom, both women had received threats via email and social media from supporters of Assad's government.