US says American held in Syria has been freed

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks in Edgartown, Mass. At the heart of President Barack Obama’s quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria. What if the militants pull back, even partially, into Syria and regroup, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 predicted they would, followed by a renewed offensive? (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks in Edgartown, Mass. At the heart of President Barack Obama’s quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria. What if the militants pull back, even partially, into Syria and regroup, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 predicted they would, followed by a renewed offensive? (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government says an American held hostage for about two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria has been released.

The Obama administration identifies the man as Peter Theo Curtis of Massachusetts.

National security adviser Susan Rice says Curtis is now safe outside of Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry says Curtis was held by an al-Qaida-linked militant group fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Obama administration released no details about the circumstances of his abduction or his release.

The news comes days after the Islamic State group posted a web video showing the murder of James Foley, an American journalist who was kidnapped in 2012 while covering the Syrian uprising.

The group said the killing was in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq.

 

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