Tareq Ayyoub (Arabic: طارق أيوب, also spelled Tarek Ayoub, Tarik Ayub, 1968 - 8 April 2003) was an Arab television reporter of Palestinian nationality, employed by Al Jazeera, and previously by Fox News. Ayyoub was killed in 2003 when two missiles, fired from by an American ground-attack aircraft, struck the Baghdad headquarters of the Al Jazeera Satellite Channel during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The Al Jazeera station was clearly marked as a media centre, and the US military had been informed of its location in February.
Born in Kuwait in 1968, Ayyoub received his Masters in English from Calicut University. Beginning in 1998, he covered the domestic and international politics of Jordan for the English-language Jordan Times.
On the morning of 8 April 2003, Ayyoub, along with his second cameraman, an Iraqi named Zuheir, was covering a pitched battle between the American and Iraqi troops from the roof of Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office. At approximately 7:45 a.m., an American A-10 Warthog ground-attack aircraft turned toward Al-Jazeera's office and began to descend upon it. Maher Abdullah, the station's Baghdad correspondent, witnessed the A-10's attack run and gave the following description, "The plane was flying so low that those of us downstairs thought it would land – that's how close it was. We actually heard the rocket being launched. It was a direct hit – the missile actually exploded against our electrical generator, and Tareq died almost at once, Zuheir was injured."
On the same day, the Abu Dhabi satellite station was hit by 'Army Fire' in a different section of Baghdad, and an American tank fired shells at Palestine Hotel, killing journalists Taras Protsyuk of Reuters and Jose Couso of the Spanish television station, Telecinco.
Many of the Arab reporters for Al Jazeera saw this as an intentional attack on their personnel, but the United States claimed later that day that the death had been an accident, and that hostile fire had been seen originating from the Al Jazeera headquarters. No evidence was provided to support this claim however.
Two days after the attacks on Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi, the US-Britain coalition launched an Arabic speaking news channel called Nahwa Al-Hurrieh, meaning 'Toward Freedom', in Iraq.
- Steele, Jonathan. "Obituary: Tareq Ayyoub." The Guardian. 9 April 2003. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- Fisk, Robert (2006). The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 970. ISBN 1-84115-007-X.
- Al-Jazeera 'hit by missile' BBC News, 8 April 2003.
- Did the US murder these Journalists? at the Wayback Machine (archived March 16, 2005) Robert Fisk, SF Bay Guardian. 26 April 2003.
- IFJ calls for re-opening of investigation into Ayyoub's death, IFEX, 24 November 2005.
- The war on al-Jazeera Comment by Dima Tareq Tahboub, the widow of Tareq Ayyoub, The Guardian, 4 October 2003
-  Iraq memorial: Tariq Ayoub