Syria’s international ministry stated in a uncommon assertion that the nation “denies that it has kidnapped or is hiding any Americans who entered its territory or resided in areas beneath the sovereignty and authority of the Syrian authorities.”
The feedback come every week after US President Joe Biden stated that Washington is aware of “with certainty” that Tice is being held by the Syrian authorities.
The Syrian authorities has denied on a number of events that it is holding Tice, however earlier than its assertion Wednesday, it had not addressed the journalist’s whereabouts publicly since 2016.
Tice disappeared in Damascus, the Syrian capital, whereas he was working as a contract journalist for CBS, The Washington Put up and The McClatchy Firm.
Tice’s household stated Austin was touring within the Damascus suburb of Darayya to work on one among his closing items for the summer time on August 13, 2012, when he was detained at a checkpoint. He was supposed to go away for Lebanon the next day. The Texas native and veteran of the US Marine Corps was supposed to come back house to complete his closing yr of regulation college at Georgetown College.
Since then, the one info Tice’s household has obtained from his captors was a 43-second video that surfaced 5 weeks after his disappearance. It was titled “Austin Tice is Alive” and confirmed Tice and a bunch of armed males, however contained no different info.
In its assertion Wednesday, the Syrian authorities denied it had ever arrested Tice.
tenth anniversary of disappearance
Tice was among the many first journalists to vanish after Syria’s peaceable pro-democracy protests, sparked by the Arab Spring, have been violently crushed by Bashar al-Assad’s authorities.
Although the FBI provided a reward of $1 million for info on Tice’s whereabouts, his case has languished for years.
Tice’s mother and father have labored diligently to carry authorities and media consideration to their son’s disappearance. Throughout a gathering with Biden on the White Home in Might, the President “reiterated his dedication to proceed to work by all accessible avenues to safe Austin’s lengthy overdue return to his household.”
Final week marked the tenth anniversary of Tice’s disappearance, which his household and the White Home used to reiterate their calls for for info.
“We all know with certainty that he has been held by the Syrian regime,” Biden stated in a press release final week. “We have now repeatedly requested the federal government of Syria to work with us in order that we will carry Austin house.
“Tice household deserves solutions, and extra importantly, they should be swiftly reunited with Austin.”
Debra Tice, Austin’s mom, informed CNN on Thursday, her son’s forty first birthday, she is blissful the President talked about his identify and that it’s a signal the administration is able to negotiate his launch.
“I am simply so glad that President Biden has stated Austin’s identify publicly,” Debra Tice informed CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.” “I feel that it is a sign from the President that the USA authorities is able to interact with Syria to carry Austin house.”
In a separate assertion Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Washington “will proceed to pursue all accessible avenues to carry Austin house and work tirelessly till we reach doing so.”
Amongst these tasked with bringing Tice house is Particular Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, who secretly traveled to Damascus and met with Assad regime officers in 2020 beneath the Trump administration. In Might of this yr, he met with Abbas Ibrahim, a prime Lebanese safety official, in Washington “to debate US residents who’re lacking or detained in Syria,” State Division spokesman Ned Value stated on the time.
Ibrahim, the chief of Lebanon’s Common Safety Directorate, has performed a job in securing the discharge of American detainees prior to now, together with Sam Goodwin from Syria and Nizar Zikka from Iran.