President Donald Trump on Friday called on Syria to help bring home Houston journalist and veteran Austin Tice, who has been missing for eight years as of this week.
Tice was last seen in August 2012 in Damascus, Syria where he was working as a freelance journalist reporting on the civil war for a variety of media outlets, including CBS, The Washington Post, and The McClatchy Company, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was kidnapped while reporting in Daraya, a Damascus suburb. Five weeks after he went missing he appeared in a 43-second video that emerged showing Tice held by a group of armed men, according to the Tice family website.
On HoustonChronicle.com: Don’t forget Austin Tice [Opinion]
Trump previously called on Syria in March and said his administration “is working very hard with Syria to get him out,” the Houston Chronicle reported. In his Friday statement, the president renewed his plea for Syria’s help in locating Tice.
“The Tice family deserves answers,” the statement read. “We stand with the Tice family and will not rest until we bring Austin home.”
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement also released on Friday that the government has repeatedly attempted to engage Syrian officials to seek Tice’s release.
“No one should doubt the President’s commitment to bringing home all U.S. citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas,” Pompeo’s statement read. “Nowhere is that determination stronger than in Austin Tice’s case.”
FREE AUSTIN TICE: Austin Tice’s parents push for answers 6 years after son’s kidnapping while reporting from Syria
Tice’s father, Mark Tice, thanked everyone who is working to free his son.
“Eight years. Eight years. We first thought ‘He’ll turn up in a few days, he’s just out of touch, on the move towards home,'” Mark Tice wrote in a Friday Twitter post. “A month was unthinkable. What must Austin be thinking? He doesn’t know the multitude praying for his safe return. We do and are grateful.”
A $1 million reward is being offered for information leading to his safe return.
Help the #FBI find Austin Tice, who was detained in Damascus, Syria 8 years ago this week. The U.S. government is offering a reward of up to $1 million for info leading to the safe location, release & return of Tice. Submit tips at email@example.com. https://t.co/6JHxuwnUok pic.twitter.com/wi8oSGDEA1
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) August 13, 2020
Anyone with information on Tice’s whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI Tip Line at tips.fbi.gov or firstname.lastname@example.org; your local FBI office, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.