Middle East/North Africa

American held captive in Syria for two months reunited with his family

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An American held captive in Syria for the past two months was reunited with his family.

Sam Goodwin, 30, was last seen in May in Syria during a trip to visit every country in the world. Thomas and Anne Goodwin, his parents, said in a statement they were grateful to be reunited with their son and thanked Lebanon’s security chief, Abbas Ibrahim, for his assistance.

{mosads}“We are grateful to be reunited with our son Sam,” they said in the statement obtained by The New York Times. “Sam is healthy and with his family.”

“We are forever indebted to Lebanese General Abbas Ibrahim and to all others who helped secure the release of our son,” the Goodwins added. “We will have more to say at a later date. Right now, we appreciate our privacy as we reconnect with Sam.” 

Information was not immediately available about how Sam Goodwin was detained or by whom.

Sam Goodwin is believed to have been taken in Northeast Syria, which is controlled by U.S.-allied Kurds. However, the Syrian government still controls territory there, including an airport and a number of neighborhoods in two different cities.

Several Americans are currently missing in Syria, though the exact number is unknown. Among those missing is freelance journalist Austin Tice, who disappeared in 2012 while covering the civil war there.

Tice’s parents, Debra and Marc Tice, have publicly said that officials working on his case believe he is alive.

Majd Kamalmaz, a clinical psychologist with dual American and Syrian citizenship, was also detained in 2017. 

It is not known with certainty who detained the two Americans. Parents of both Austin Tice and Majd Kamalmaz have lobbied the Trump administration to intervene on their behalf.


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