The Biden administration Wednesday referred to as on Syria to assist return Austin Tice, a contract journalist who disappeared within the war-torn nation 9 years in the past and is believed to be held by the regime.
“We believe that it is within Bashar al-Assad’s power to free Austin,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in a press release marking Tice’s 40th birthday.
“Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens and the broader team are working diligently and around the clock to bring Austin back to his family,” Blinken stated. “Austin Tice must be allowed to return home to his loved ones who miss him dearly and to the country that awaits him eagerly.”
Tice, a former Marine captain from Texas who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, traveled to Syria the summer season earlier than his ultimate 12 months on the Georgetown University Law Center to cowl the nation’s civil warfare as a contract journalist for shops that included McClatchy, CBS and The Washington Post. Tice disappeared after his taxi was stopped at a checkpoint in a Damascus suburb on Aug. 14, 2012.
Tice and psychotherapist Majd Kamalmaz are amongst a handful of US residents believed to be within the custody of the regime or affiliated forces. Tice’s mother and father, Debra and Marc Tice, have referred to as on the Biden administration to instantly interact with Damascus to safe their son’s launch.
“We are now imploring a third President of the United States to communicate to his administration that Austin’s secure release and safe return is a priority,” they stated in a press release.
“There are many capable people working in our government who are eager to see Austin walk free; they must have President Biden’s authorization for significant and relevant diplomatic engagement with the Syrian government,” the Tice household stated.
Asked about Tice throughout Wednesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated Washington is “committed to following all avenues and talking to anyone” who might help return him.