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U.S. confirms release of journalist held in Syria

English.news.cn   2014-08-25 03:29:24
• White House Sunday confirmed the release of an American journalist held captive in Syria for past 2 years.
• The news came after another U.S. journalist James Foley was beheaded by the Islamic State.
• US sent special forces into Syria to rescue Foley and other American hostages, but failed to find them.
 
 

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Sunday confirmed the release of an American journalist held captive in Syria for the past two years.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Peter Theo Curtis, who was kidnapped by militants near the Syria-Turkey border in October 2012, "is now safe outside of Syria."

"Today, we join his family and loved ones in welcoming his freedom," Rice said in a statement. "We expect he will be reunited with his family shortly."

The news came after another U.S. journalist James Foley, who was abducted by militants in Syria in November 2012, was beheaded by the Islamic State as shown in a video released online early last week by the militant group.

The Islamic State, which has seized a large swath of territory in western and northern Iraq in recent months, also threatened to kill another man shown on the video said to be American freelancer Steven Sotloff to avenge ongoing U.S. airstrikes on its targets in northern Iraq.

"Just as we celebrate Theo's freedom, we hold in our thoughts and prayers the Americans who remain in captivity in Syria," Rice said. "As President (Barack) Obama said, we have and will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to see that the remaining American hostages are freed."

The Obama administration sent special operations troops into Syria this summer to rescue Foley and other American hostages, but failed to find them, officials told the press.

The U.S. warplanes on Sunday conducted two air raids on Islamic State targets, destroying a Humvee near the Mosul Dam and an armed vehicle near Erbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

It said the U.S. military has conducted a total of 96 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug.8, one day after Obama gave the order.

Related:

World appalled by beheading of American journalist: Obama

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of James Foley, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday, shortly after the authenticity of a video showing the American journalist's beheading had been verified.

Obama said he had spoken to the Foley family and told them that "we are all heartbroken at their loss, and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did." Full story

Video showing execution of American reporter authentic: White House

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The White House said on Wednesday that the video released by Islamic militants to show the beheading of one American journalist and the presence of another was "authentic."

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the U. S. intelligence community had analyzed the video posted online late Tuesday, and that "we have reached the judgment that this video is authentic." Full story

IS claims beheading of U.S. journalist, threatens to kill another

DAMASCUS/WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Xinhua) -- A video released by the Islamic State (IS) militants Tuesday purported to show the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and contained threats to kill another in retaliation against the recent U.S. intervention in Iraq.

A masked fighter was shown beheading a man kneeling in an orange jumpsuit said to be Foley, a 40-year-old freelance journalist who disappeared in northwest Syria in 2012. Full story

Editor: Yamei Wang
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