Syrian regime denies holding missing American journalist

Austin Tice went missing in Syria in 2012.

Syrian regime denies holding missing American journalist

The Syrian regime on Wednesday denied reports about holding American journalist Austin Tice, who went missing a decade ago while covering the country’s civil war.

The denial came after US President Joe Biden last week said he was certain the Syrian government was holding the American journalist.

"The Syrian Arab Republic denies that it has kidnapped or forcibly disappeared any American citizen who entered its territory or resided in areas under its authority," the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the state news agency SANA.

It termed US accusations of abducting American nationals as “absurd” and “illogical”.

The US State Department said Tuesday that US officials engaged directly with Syrian officials on the safe return of Tice.

Tice, a freelance reporter, went missing in 2012 at a checkpoint in a contested area west of the capital Damascus. He appeared in a video a month later blindfolded and held by armed men. No group has claimed responsibility for his abduction.