Beirut - The Syrian regime has released a US citizen and he has been handed back to his family, thanks to the mediation of Lebanon, a Lebanese security official said on Friday.
The security official did not reveal the name of the released American, but said it was not Austin Tice, a journalist who disappeared in Syria in 2012.
The official said that Lebanon’s security chief Abbas Ebrahim had conducted the mediation.
“Lebanon has worked on mediating through General Abbas Ebrahim to release an American and he was handed over to his family already. The American is not Tice because it is not known where he is,” the security official said.
Several US citizens have been held in Syria since the war began there in 2011, including people held by extremist groups such as Daesh.
The United States has declined to say who it believes is holding Tice, but has said it believes he is alive and has sought the help of the Syrian regime’s close ally Russia to free him.
Last year the family of another American, Majd Kamalmaz, told the New York Times that he had disappeared at a government checkpoint in Damascus in 2017.
Last month Ebrahim flew to Iran to complete the release and repatriation of Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen with permanent residency in the United States who was detained there in 2015.