Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Australian reality TV stars 'shot at by IS' in Syria

28 July 2015, 08:06

Sydney-Australian public broadcaster SBS Tuesday defended a reality show where participants were shot at by Islamic State militants in Syria as part of a trip retracing refugees' journeys, saying they had extensive security preparations.

SBS was to air the first episode of the three-part series "Go Back to Where You Came From" on Tuesday evening, with the programme taking "ordinary Australians" to Syria, Baghdad and Myanmar to expose them to asylum-seekers and refugees' experiences.

In footage released by the broadcaster, three of the six participants are seen running and sheltering behind buildings amid the sound of mortar rounds in Syria.

"Righto, that's rounds coming in. Stay down, OK," said the voice of a person escorting them in the video clip. "Stay down, real low. Stay down below this wall. We don't want them to know we're here. They're just in front of us."

SBS said in promotional material that those taking part were "escorted under security to the Syrian frontlines by Kurdish soldiers as they defend a village under threat by ISIS... and come under fire by nearby ISIS insurgents".

The Islamic State group is sometimes referred to as ISIS.

The broadcaster added that safety of the participants and crew was "paramount", after an Australian security consultant reviewed the footage and said there was "substantial risk... with the deployment" and "appropriate controls were not implemented".

The consultant, former army officer Justin Bowden, told the Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday the three Australians should have been given helmets in addition to the ballistic vests they were wearing.

SBS said in a statement the group was also accompanied by a private security firm during their Syria trip.

"The situation captured on camera where the group were shot at was not planned, but not unexpected in a war zone," the statement said.

"The armed security team were prepared for an event like this, and quickly took action to move the participants and crew to a safer location."

It added that one crew member chose not to travel to the Syrian frontline after a security briefing. A cameraman was also left behind to reduce the group's size for security reasons.

The documentary series, in its third season and which won an international Emmy for non-scripted entertainment in 2013, previously took people to Afghanistan, Somalia and Indonesia.

One of those taking part, anti-refugee campaigner Kim Vuga, said the "worst part was going as close as we could and knowing that their bullets could reach us".

"We were told to listen for any whistling sounds coming through the air and that would mean a mortar had been fired. We were told we had 30 seconds to run 100 metres," she told the Herald.

"It was surreal."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...