UK & World News

  • 25 August 2014, 6:21

Kidnappers Release US Journalist In Syria

Kidnappers in Syria have released a US journalist who was abducted in 2012.

The United Nations (UN) confirmed Peter Theo Curtis, 45, was transferred to its peacekeeping force in the disputed Golan Heights region.

"After receiving a medical check-up, Mr Curtis was handed over to representatives of his government," the UN statement said.

Al Jazeera reported that the move followed diplomacy from Qatar.

It comes six days after the Islamic State (IS) released a video of US reporter James Foley being beheaded in Iraq.

The UK says it is edging closer to identifying the apparently-British killer.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said: "Particularly after a week marked by unspeakable tragedy, we are all relieved and grateful knowing that Theo Curtis is coming home.

"Over these last two years, the United States reached out to more than two dozen countries asking for urgent help from anyone who might have tools, influence, or leverage to help secure Theo's release and the release of any Americans held hostage in Syria."

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that about 20 journalists are missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by IS.

Mr Kerry said: "Every diplomatic, intelligence and military tool" is being used to secure the release of other American hostages.

A Qatari source told Reuters that "any captives with (Islamic State) will be very difficult for Qatar to free, while others with different groups would be easier".

IS has threatened to kill another US reporter, Steven Sotloff, if airstrikes sanctioned by President Barack Obama in Iraq continue.

Mr Curtis, who is from Boston and has written books under the name Theo Padnos, was abducted near the Syria-Turkey border in October 2012

In a video statement released by kidnappers during his captivity, Mr Curtis said he "had everything" he needed and "everything has been perfect, food, clothing, even friends now".

Advertisement