American Journalist Held in Syria for 2 Years is Released

Less than one week after the world discovered that American journalist James Foley was tragically beheaded by an Islamic State group, another American reporter, whom we feared would suffer the same fate, was reportedly released today to UN representatives.

Peter Theo Curtis, 45, who writes under the name Theo Padnos, was kidnapped in 2012 while in Turkey and on his way to Syria. It's unclear whether Curtis, a freelancer from Boston, was overseas working on an assignment at the time. Not long before his release, CNN reportedly obtained a video that shows Curtis providing his name and identity while a gun was being held to his head.

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The United States apparently had no involvement in Curtis' release, though top officials were aware of a "private" deal being made for his safe return. It's unclear whether money was given to his captors in exchange for his freedom.

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry released the following statement on Sunday: "Particularly after a week marked by unspeakable tragedy, we are all relieved and grateful knowing that Theo Curtis is coming home after so much time held in the clutches of (al-Nusra Front)." Kerry was referring to a militant group that has links to al-Qaida.

Curtis was released to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, which is controlled by Israel. He was given a medical checkup and is expected to soon be reunited with his family.

Nancy Curtis, the journalist's mother, says her son has a "deep concern and regard for the people of Syria, which is why he returned during the war." According to Nancy, he was there to "help" others and "bear witness to their struggles."

Do you think the United States should pay for the release of American journalists who are captured in war-torn countries?

 

Image via JimRoberts/Twitter

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