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American Citizen Held in Syria Freed, State Department Confirms

Sun, 24 Aug 2014 18:38:43 +0000

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- An American citizen held hostage in Syria for the last two years was released and is returning to the United States, the State Department confirmed on Sunday.

Peter Theo Curtis had been held, the State Department said, by al Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra. During the two years that he was held, the U.S. reportedly reached out to over two dozen countries for help in securing his release, and the release of any American hostage in Syria.

Less than one week after video was posted online of American journalist James Foley being executed by a self-proclaimed member of the Islamic State or Iraq and Syria, Curtis is now safe outside of Syria, according to National Security Advisor Susan Rice. He is expected to be reunited with his family "shortly."

Rice added that the United States would "continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to see that the remaining American hostages are freed."

The United Nations confirmed on Sunday that it played a role in facilitating Curtis' release.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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