Austin Tice’s family is still waiting for answers 10 years after his disappearance

Ten years after American journalist Austin Tice disappeared in Syria, his household continues to be ready for motion from the U.S. authorities. 

Tice, a contract journalist for a number of information organizations together with CBS Information, The Washington Submit and McClatchy, was kidnapped close to Damascus on Aug. 14, 2012, whereas he was reporting on the Syrian civil battle, making him one of many longest held American hostages. 

A brief video launched weeks afterward YouTube and the Fb web page of supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed a distressed Tice blindfolded together with his obvious captors. It was the final time he was seen. 

Although nobody has ever claimed accountability for his disappearance, Tice’s mom, Debra, has by no means doubted her son continues to be alive. 

“I’ve by no means wavered. I am not wavering now,” she advised CBS Information in an interview earlier this week. “There isn’t any motive to not consider that he is ready and hoping and dreaming and planning to stroll free.”

Freelance journalist Austin Tice went lacking in Syria in 2012 and has not been heard from since. 

Fort Price Star-Telegram/Tribune Information Service through Getty Photos

As she’s finished repeatedly for the final decade, she once more referred to as on the U.S. authorities to do extra to carry her son — a Marine veteran whom she described as having “an incredible chortle” and a “huge persona” — residence. 

“The USA authorities has labored very arduous to persuade me that they are engaged on it,” she mentioned. “My response is: Do not inform me. Present me.” 

Tice’s dad and mom, Debra and Marc, met with President Biden on the White Home in Could after lengthy pleading for a presidential assembly. Debra Tice said in that assembly Mr. Biden tasked his nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan and the Nationwide Safety Council to satisfy with the Syrian authorities to “determine what they need.” 

“The president of america mentioned get a gathering, hear, discover out what they need, work with them. He laid it out,” Debra Tice advised CBS Information in an interview this week. 

Two Trump administration officers traveled to Syria two years in the past to attempt to negotiate Tice’s launch, however the officers didn’t safe his freedom, and the Syrian authorities has by no means publicly acknowledged holding him captive or figuring out his whereabouts. On the time, Syrian officers advised CBS Information that the Syrian authorities mentioned no dialogue might happen about hostages so long as U.S. troops have been of their nation. 

“I imply, you go in and purchase a automotive, do you ever pay the sticker worth?” Debra Tice mentioned, explaining that she would not perceive why the U.S. hasn’t negotiated. “It is so irritating to me. It was irritating to me after they left after the primary assembly and by no means went again.” Debra Tice additionally mentioned, “I do know that america authorities has not reached out on to the Syrian authorities to request a gathering.”

However the Biden administration says this isn’t the case. A  senior administration official advised CBS Information the U.S. “has engaged extensively to attempt to get Austin residence, together with straight with Syrian officers and thru third events.” 

“In contrast to in different conditions the place People are detained overseas, for a lot of months, the Syrian authorities has not agreed to senior-level conferences to debate Austin’s case, nor has it ever acknowledged holding him,” the official mentioned. “We are going to proceed to pursue each avenue for securing Austin’s launch.” 

The official did not say whether or not the U.S. has tried to have interaction with the Syrian authorities about Tice since his dad and mom met with Mr. Biden, however the president publicly referred to as on Syria to return to the desk in an announcement Wednesday.  

“We all know with certainty that he has been held by the Syrian regime,” Mr. Biden mentioned in an announcement Wednesday. “We have now repeatedly requested the federal government of Syria to work with us in order that we are able to carry Austin residence. On the tenth anniversary of his abduction, I’m calling on Syria to finish this and assist us carry him residence.” 

Marc and Debra Tice, dad and mom of U.S. journalist Austin Tice who was kidnapped in Syria, maintain respective dated portraits of him throughout a press convention within the Lebanese capital Beirut on July 20, 2017.

JOSEPH EID/AFP through Getty Photos

Secretary of State Antony Blinken additionally mentioned in an announcement Wednesday that Particular Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens “will proceed to have interaction with the Syrian authorities.”

The FBI renewed its call for info on Tice’s whereabouts and has provided a $1 million reward. 

Debra Tice says she tries not to consider what life has been like for her son.  

“Crucial factor for us as a household is to carry on to the truth that we are going to by no means know him imprisoned. We are going to all the time know him as a free man,” she mentioned. “I do not assume it is productive to attempt to think about one thing I can’t think about.” 

She’s had loads of time to replicate on the boundaries of U.S. paperwork which have left her household feeling helpless, in addition to the remorse that she did not instantly go to Damascus when Austin disappeared. 

“I’ve had 10 years to consider missteps,” she mentioned, “and it is actually painful.” 

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