Biden Urges Syria To Release US Journalist Abducted In Damascus

President Joe Biden has called on the government of Syria to release abducted American journalist Austin Tice.

In a statement issued on the tenth anniversary of Austin Tice’s captivity, President Biden said there is no higher priority in his Administration than the recovery and return of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.

“This week marks a decade since American Austin Tice was abducted in Damascus, Syria. Austin served in the United States Marine Corps. He is a son, he is a brother, and he is an investigative journalist who put the truth above himself and traveled to Syria to show the world the real cost of war. We know with certainty that he has been held by the Government of Syria,” the statement said.

Biden vowed that his administration will not rest until it brings Austin home.

Tice, 41, was one of only a few foreign journalists to report from inside Syria during the worst days of the civil war.

Tice was working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy, The Washington Post, CBS, and other media when he was abducted from Darayya, near capital Damascus. There was no immediate contact from Tice or his captors, but in September 2012 a brief video of Tice blindfolded and bound was released. In October, a US spokesperson said it was believed, based on the limited information it had, that Tice was in the custody of the Syrian government. No government or group in Syria has said it is holding Tice.

In April 2018, the FBI had increased their reward for information regarding Tice’s whereabouts to $1 million and two U.S. officials said Tice is believed to have survived captivity.

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