Free At Last After Two Years
An American journalist Peter Theo Curtis was finally released by his captors in Syria.
According to media reports, the American journalist was handed over to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights at the village of al-Rafid, Quneitra, Syria.
Mr. Curtis was kidnapped in October 2012 and was allegedly held by the al-Nusra Front militants.
The American journalist was released in Syria after the bold mediation of Qatari government and currently undergoing medical check-up.
The release of Mr. Curtis comes just days after the beheading of US journalist James Foley who was also captured in Syria two years ago.
US Grateful for Mr. Curtis’ Release
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the White house felt relieved and grateful knowing that Theo Curtis is coming home after so much time held in the clutches of Jabhat Al-Nusrah.
“For two years, this young American has been separated from his family.” – Secretary Kerry
Ordeals for journalists in the war zone are not something new for the US government. That is why 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.
“Every waking hour, our thoughts and our faith remain with the Americans still held hostage and with their families.” – Secretary Kerry
Secretary Kerry said the US continues to use every diplomatic, intelligence, and military tool at its disposal to find them and bring our fellow citizens home.
Journalists At Risk In Syria
According to reports, more than 60 journalists have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising which highlighted the imminent danger faced by journalists in the war stricken country.
Score of journalists covering the Syrian civil war have been seized since the conflict began in March 2011 and many others are still missing.
Humanitarian Crisis In Syria
Here are the current figures on Syria, according to USAID.
The Syrian violence has led to a crisis on a humanitarian scale that is of the highest priority within the U.S. government, and for which the US pledges to continue to provide support.
In April 2012, with the deteriorating situation in Syria due to turmoil, the United States of America bolstered efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict in the country.
The UN estimates that there are over 10.8 million Syrians inside Syria in urgent need of humanitarian assistance of which 5.5 million are children. Of that number, an estimated 6.4 million are internally displaced.
The United States has dedicated some $2.4 billion to support the important work to assist and protect those in need in Syria and neighboring countries, and much more is on the way.
The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over an estimated 170,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.