The Syrian Regime freed United States citizen Kevin Patrick Dawes, 33, the State Department said on Friday, according to the Washington Post. However, it is believed that they Syrian Regime may still have one other U.S. citizen, Austin Tice, being held as a prisoner in their country.
John Kirby, a representative for the State Department, said in a statement, “We can confirm and welcome the news that a U.S. citizen was released by Syrian authorities.”
He went on to say, “While privacy considerations prevent us from commenting further, we continue to work through our Czech protecting power in Syria to get information on the welfare and whereabouts of Austin Tice and other U.S. citizens missing and detained in Syria. We appreciate the efforts of the Czech mission on behalf of U.S. persons. 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.”
Kevin Dawes is a freelance photographer and a journalist who arrived in Syria after he crossed over from Turkey. According to the investigations, they think that he was in a Damascus suburb in Syria in August 2012 when he was kidnapped. American officials negotiated for his release for months, but it is not clear whether U.S. officials spoke to the Syrian Regime or if they went through an intermediary. However, the Czech Republic played a role in the talk negotiations with Syria. In 2012, the United States shut down its embassy in Damascus because the civil war in that country became intense. The Czech Republic represents American interests in Syria.
Recently, Kevin Davies was finally allowed to talk on the phone with his family members and receive care packages. It has to be a welcome relief to Kevin’s family and friends to know he is safe and coming home.
There was very little media coverage when Patrick Dawes was abducted in Syria, but his release should draw national attention.
Kevin Dawes is not shy about going into areas where conflict is prominent, especially being a United States citizen. He entered Libya as a medical aid, and then he started fighting against Muammar Gaddafi’s government. He allegedly did this because medical workers were being targeted by the Libyan government. He said when an ambulance crew was pulled out of the vehicle and killed, he decided he had to do something.
Kevin Dawes told NPR, “It was at that point we decided we had no choice. It was either this, or perish from here.”
As a result, Mr. Dawes began carrying a rifle while in Libya and worked as a “counter sniper.”
“I watch windows and take out people cliquing at us.”
Although Kevin Dawes never officially joined the armed forces, he did have 10 years of experience as a trained sharpshooter, which is why he made an excellent counter sniper
When he was asked by NPR why he was in Libya, Kevin answered, “See the world, experience new things, get in way over my head, but, you know, ultimately survive.”
And his words came to pass, when he was captured and held as a hostage by the Syrian regime, but it is doubtful that he meant his words that way. However, it is doubtful that he wanted to be kidnapped and held as a hostage.
Still missing is Austin Tice, of Houston, Texas, and although the Syrian government said they did not detain him, the United States government believes that they did or a group affiliated with the government is holding him hostage. Austin was in Syria covering their civil war in August 2012 when he disappeared. The last time anyone has seen or heard from him was in September of that same year. A video was released showing Austin blindfolded and held by men carrying guns.
He was heard saying, “Oh Jesus.”
The family of Austin Tice posted this message on Twitter, “The [Daweses’] private, painful ordeal is finally over. We are delighted for Kevin & his family.”
The Dawes' private, painful ordeal is finally over. We are delighted for Kevin & his family. https://t.co/Yq3836VjCc— #FreeAustinTice (@FreeAustinTice) April 8, 2016
John Kirby confirmed in a statement the reports that one American was released by the Syrian government.
“While privacy considerations prevent us from commenting further, we continue to work through our Czech protecting power in Syria to get information on the welfare and whereabouts of Austin Tice and other U.S. citizens missing and detained in Syria. We appreciate the efforts of the Czech mission on behalf of U.S. persons.”
This is good news for Kevin Patrick Dawes’ family and friends that he has finally been released, while Austin Tice’s family waits for the miracle of their son coming home too.
[Photo byAP Images]