Biden says Austin Tice held by Syria, calls for his launch

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President Biden on Wednesday demanded that the Syrian governing administration launch freelance journalist and Washington Article contributor Austin Tice, stating that the United States is aware of “with certainty” that he is remaining held by their governing administration 10 many years soon after he was abducted.

“We know with certainty that he has been held by the Syrian routine,” Biden said in a statement. “We have frequently asked the federal government of Syria to work with us so that we can provide Austin house.”

This week marks a decade given that Tice, who served in the U.S. Maritime Corps and was also a journalist who experienced been functioning and covering the conflict in Syria, was abducted in Damascus on Aug. 14, 2012, days right after his 31st birthday. He is just one of the longest held American hostages.

Transcript: American Hostage with Debra & Marc Tice, Mothers and fathers of Austin Tice

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has not acknowledged that his government detained Tice, and other top Syrian officials have denied having custody or any data about him. But Biden produced very clear in his assertion that the United States thinks the Syrian governing administration has Tice, and the capacity to launch him.

“I am calling on Syria to end this and assistance us convey him dwelling,” Biden reported. “There is no bigger precedence in my Administration than the restoration and return of People held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas. We must identify them, preserve them in our hearts and our minds, and make their recovery and return a priority.”

Biden’s strongly-worded statement came a month following a controversial journey to Saudi Arabia in which he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is accused of remaining powering the killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

In his statement, Biden alluded to a meeting he held in early Might with Tice’s moms and dads, Marc and Debra, indicating he pledged to them to check out to protected their son’s release.

“The Tice relatives warrants answers, and additional importantly, they are worthy of to be quickly reunited with Austin,” Biden stated. “We stand with Austin’s several beloved kinds, and we will not relaxation right up until we provide Austin residence. 10 a long time is considerably, significantly way too extended. So is each individual supplemental working day.”

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