8.2 C
New York
Monday, September 26, 2022
HomeWorldUSAustin Theis: Syria denies holding journalist after White House says otherwise

Austin Theis: Syria denies holding journalist after White House says otherwise

This is reported by the Syrian Foreign Ministry. in a rare statement that the country “denies that it has kidnapped or is hiding any American citizens who entered its territory or resided in territories under the sovereignty and authority of Syrian government.”

The comments come a week after US President Joe Biden said Washington knew.with certainty that Tays is being held by the Syrian government.

Syrian government denied on repeatedly said that Tice was in custody, but until his announcement on Wednesday, he had not publicly disclosed the whereabouts of the journalist since 2016.

Thais disappeared in Damascus, the Syrian capital, when he worked as a freelance journalist. for CBS, The Washington Post and The McClatchy Company.

Thais family said Austin is traveling in suburb of Damascus of Daraya k work on one of his final parts for summer on August 13, 2012, when he was detained at a checkpoint. He had to leave for Lebanon the next day. Texas native as well as veteran of The US Marine Corps was supposed to come home to finish his final year of Georgetown University School of Law.

Since then the only information Thais family received from the kidnappers 43-second video that surfaced five weeks after his disappearance. It was called “Austin Tice Lives” and featured Tice and group of armed men but contains no others information.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Syrian government denied ever arresting Theis.

10 years of disappearance

Thais was among first disappearance of journalists after peaceful pro-democracy protests in Syria sparked by the Arab Spring were brutally suppressed by Bashar al-Assad government.

Successive US administrations have claimed that Theis was alive and in captivity somewhere. in Syria. There was no indication that he was abducted or detained by ISIS, which executed several kidnapped American journalists, including James Foley and Stephen Sotloff.

Although the FBI suggested reward of 1 million dollars for information on The whereabouts of Thais, his case is languishing for years.

Thais parents worked hard to bring government as well as media attention to their sondisappearance. During the meeting with Biden at the White House in May, the President “reaffirmed his commitment to continue work through everything available ways to secure Austin’s long overdue return to his family.”

The Biden administration was directly involved with Syrian government in efforts to secure the release of Thais, according to a source and senior administration official. There were several of direct interaction – no of which the took place in Damascus, but they still haven’t given progress- said a source, a friend.

Turned 10 last week of Thais’ disappearance, which family and the White House repeated its demands for information.

“We know with confidence that he is being held by the Syrian regime,” Biden said. in statement last a week. “We have repeatedly contacted government of Syria in work with us so we can bring Austin home.

“Tays family deserves answers and more most importantly, they deserve a speedy reunion with Austin”.

Debra Theis, Austin mother told CNN on Thursday, her son’s 41st birthday, she’s happy that the president mentioned his name and what it is sign the administration is ready to negotiate for his release.

“I just so glad President Biden has publicly named Austin,” Debra Tice told CNN’s John Berman. on “New day.” “I think this is an indication from the President that the United States government ready to engage with Syria will bring Austin home.”

In a separate statement on Wednesday, the secretary of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Washington “will continue to pursue all available ways to bring Austin home as well as work relentlessly until we succeed in doing so.”

Among those assigned with cast thais home is a special representative of the President for Hostage Cases Roger Carstens, who went secretly to Damascus and met with Assad regime officials in 2020 under the Trump administration. In May of it’s year met with Abbas Ibrahim, chief Lebanese guard official, in Washington will “discuss US citizens who missing or arrested in Syria,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at the time.

Ibrahim, chief of The Lebanese Directorate General of Security played role in secure the release of American detainees in in the past including Sam Goodwin from Syria and Nizar Zikka from Iran.

Follow World Weekly News on

Tyler Hromadka
Tyler Hromadka
Tyler is working as the Author at World Weekly News. He has a love for writing and have been writing for a few years now as a free-lancer.

Leave a Reply

Must Read