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Family of Journalist Captured in Syria Appeals for Help

After a six week media blackout, the family of James Foley asks the American public to help in his release.
By Annie Lubin
First Publish: 1/2/2013, 7:29 PM

A US journalist has been missing in Syria since November
A US journalist has been missing in Syria since November
Reuters

The family of an American journalist, who was kidnapped by gunmen in northwest Syria six weeks ago and is still missing, is urging the U.S. public to do anything they can to help bring him home. 

Freelance journalist James Foley, 39, was driving towards the Turkish border with Syria when he was forced out of his car by two armed men and has not been seen or heard from since, according to the news site GlobalPost

On Wednesday, his family launched a public campaign and set up a website to raise awareness towards his cause, using any measure available to appeal for his release.

“We want Jim to come safely home, or at least we need to speak with him to know he’s okay,” John Foley, Foley's father, told the GlobalPost “Jim is an objective journalist and we appeal for the release of Jim unharmed. To the people who have Jim, please contact us so we can work together toward his release.”

The family had previously "asked media groups not to report the abduction in the hope that a low profile would assist in efforts to free him," AFP reported. However, after desperately waiting for information that never came throughout the previous six weeks, the family has agreed to speak out. 

Reporting from unstable conflict regions has become an increasingly dangerous job. Last year 28 journalists were killed in Syria, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. 

Rebel groups and Pro-Assad forces have both kidnapped journalists believed to be supporting the other side. 

Foley was last seen in late November in the Idlib Province, the same region where NBC correspondent Richard Engel went missing in November. 

As of yet, no group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. 

Foley entered Syria through rebel-held areas, as the government tightly restricts media access.

This is also not the first time Foley has been held captive. In April 2011 the journalist was kidnapped by forces loyal to then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and was held captive for 44 days.