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Syria denies kidnapping and detention of American journalist Austin Theis – Middle East Monitor

Syria denies having the missing American journalist Austin Tice and other Americans in custody, but it has been several years since the US said it was “sure” that Damascus had him in custody. A few days later.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement today that the regime of Bashar al-Assad “denies kidnapping or detaining American citizens on its territory.” The statement said the U.S. “misleading and illogical statements by the U.S. President and Secretary of State included baseless accusations that Syria had kidnapped or detained U.S. citizens, including former U.S. Marine Austin Tice. I was there,” he criticized.

Theis – a contributor to many news outlets, including Washington Post – disappeared on August 14, 2012 after being stopped at a checkpoint west of the Syrian capital Damascus. He was in the country to cover the recently erupted conflict following the start of the Syrian Revolution and the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters the previous year.

Following his abduction, a video was released a month later showing him being blindfolded and held by armed men. He has not been seen or heard from since. Another American kidnapped and detained in Syria was Virginia psychologist Majid Kamarmaz, who disappeared in 2017.

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The White House, which marked the 10th anniversary of the abduction of Thaïs last week, released a statement saying President Joe Biden “certainly knows he is being held by the Syrian government,” and Washington has repeatedly warned against Damascus. “I asked you to work,” he added, so that he could bring Austin home. ”

The Syrian regime’s denial of having Thaiss was attributed to U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price. clearly The Biden administration has “engaged extensively, including directly, through Syrian officials and third parties” to return Thaiss and other Americans, he told reporters.

“Syria has never admitted to having him in custody,” Price said. “We will not stop our efforts. We will pursue all means to ensure Austin’s safe return.” repeated.

Serious efforts toward Tais’ release began in 2020 when officials from the former President Donald Trump’s administration secretly traveled to Damascus for negotiations. But the Assad regime’s demands included a complete withdrawal of US troops from Syria, the lifting of sanctions and the restoration of diplomatic relations.Which Washington Rejected.

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https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220817-syria-denies-abducting-detaining-american-journalist-austin-tice/ Syria denies kidnapping and detention of American journalist Austin Theis – Middle East Monitor

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