American Journalist Freed After 2-Year Captivity In Syria

Days after the execution of James Foley, U.S. officials secured the release of Peter Theo Curtis from captivity in Syria.
Posted at 8:39 PM, Aug 24, 2014

An American journalist kidnapped in 2012 while covering the Syrian civil war has reportedly been freed from captivity and handed over to the United Nations.

Peter Theo Curtis was abducted along the Syria-Turkey border in October 2012. Details are still scarce, but the U.N. has confirmed he was handed over to peacekeeping forces Sunday evening in the Golan Heights. (Video via Al Jazeera)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said it took two years of work to secure the journalist's release from the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front. Some reports are crediting Qatar for acting as a go-between.

Curtis' release comes just less than two months after a video showed the Boston native seemingly in dire conditions, though in a later video he said he "'had everything' he needed and 'everything has been perfect, food, clothing, even friends now.'"

That statement is vastly different from an account given by another American journalist, Matthew Schrier. Schrier escaped in 2013 and described being tortured and starved by his captors. It's now known he shared a cell with Curtis. (Video via CNN)

Curtis' release comes just days after the execution of American journalist James Foley by the Sunni militant group ISIS.

Another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, is reportedly one of a handful of reporters still being held captive by the group.

The militant group has threatened to move forward with his execution if the U.S. does not stop airstrikes against ISIS outposts in Iraq. (Video via ABC)

Journalists as a whole haven't really found any sort of safe haven while covering the ongoing civil war in Syria. 

A Committee to Protect Journalists report from late last year called the country the most dangerous place for journalists to cover.

The CPJ counts at least 70 journalists who have been killed while covering the civil war that has claimed the lives of more than 191,000 people.

In his statement, John Kerry also said the U.S. will "continue to use every diplomatic, intelligence, and military tool" to bring any remaining U.S. captives back to America.

This video contains images from Getty Images.