Biden: US is aware of ‘with certainty’ Syria holding lacking journalist Austin Tice

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Joe Biden has mentioned that the US is aware of “with certainty” that the Syrian authorities is holding Austin Tice – an American journalist who has been lacking for a decade – and referred to as on Damascus to launch him.

Ten years after the freelance reporter disappeared whereas reporting on the Syrian conflict, Biden mentioned the US authorities is aware of “that [Tice] has been held by the Syrian regime”.

Noting that the US has “repeatedly requested the federal government of Syria to work with us”, Biden mentioned in a assertion on Wednesday that he’s “calling on Syria to finish this and assist us deliver him residence”.

Tice is believed to be the longest-held American journalist in historical past. No group has claimed duty for Tice’s abduction, and the Syrian authorities denies involvement.

Biden’s assertion described Tice as a son, brother, US marine veteran and “an investigative journalist who put the reality above himself and traveled to Syria to point out the world the true value of conflict”.

Tice, who grew up in Houston because the eldest of seven siblings, was homeschooled, and enrolled in college on the age of 15. Later, throughout legislation college, he determined to hitch the US marines and was deployed to Afghanistan. He turned considering journalism. He traveled to Turkey in Could 2012 aged 30 and crossed the border into Syria. He started submitting dispatches and doing stringing work for US publications.

He had been in Syria 83 days when he was detained in a regime-controlled space in Darayya, a suburb of Damascus, en path to the Lebanese border.

About 5 weeks after his abduction, a video appeared on YouTube of males with rifles main Tice, blindfolded, alongside a hill. He was proven reciting a prayer in Arabic and including, in English: “Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus.”

Former American officers have mentioned that the video gave the impression to be a “crude ploy” by the Syrian regime to make it look as if Tice had been kidnapped by a insurgent group. Neither the Syrian authorities nor any insurgent group has ever issued any calls for associated to Tice’s detention.

Since that video there have been no additional public photographs of Tice. The US authorities believes he’s alive, primarily based partially on intelligence in 2016 that Tice was seen at a hospital in Damascus being handled for dehydration.

As president, Donald Trump took an curiosity in Tice’s case, and even reportedly started creating a plan that may permit the Syrians to return him whereas saving face, however it by no means got here to fruition.

Tice’s dad and mom, Debra and Marc Tice, met with Biden on the White Home earlier this 12 months. On the assembly, Biden instructed members of the nationwide safety council to “have interaction instantly” with Syria, in accordance to Texas Month-to-month. The US authorities has provided a reward of as much as $1m for data resulting in Tice’s protected return.

Syria is without doubt one of the most harmful international locations on the earth for reporters, in accordance to the Committee to Defend Journalists.


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