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Syria releases American photographer Kevin Dawes, held since 2012

By Amy R. Connolly
Syria releases American photographer Kevin Dawes, held since 2012
Kevin Patrick Dawes, an American freelance photographer held captive in Syria since 2012, was freed, U.S. officials said. Photo courtesy FBI

WASHINGTON, April 8 (UPI) -- Syrian authorities released an American freelance photographer who had been held captive in Syria since 2012, U.S. officials said.

Kevin Patrick Dawes, 33, of San Diego, was reported missing after traveling to Syria in September 2012, crossing over from Turkey. The U.S. Department of State confirmed the release of an American but did not confirm his name. Other U.S. officials identified him as Dawes.

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The details of his release and who held him captive have not been made public.

"We can confirm and welcome the news that a U.S. citizen was released by Syrian authorities," State Department spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said. "The United States continues to work through every possible means to ensure the safe release of U.S. citizens reported missing or taken hostage in Syria."

The news of Dawes' release is being heralded as a positive sign for the release of freelance journalist Austin Tice, who disappeared in Syria in 2012. He appeared in a video blindfolded about a month after he disappeared, but has not been seen since.

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