Just days after the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) last Tuesday released a video of the horrific decapitation of American journalist James Foley in Syria, an American journalist was released from the war-torn state.
The journalist, Peter Theo Curtis, was abducted in Antakya, Turkey in October 2012, whereas Foley was kidnapped in Syria in November of that year.
According to Al Jazeera, Curtis was handed over to UN representatives after Qatar helped negotiate his release. It remains unclear which terrorist organization was behind his abduction, a result of the fact that hostages are reportedly often transferred between groups.
Al Jazeera, a news agency sponsored by Qatar which funds Hamas, obtained video of Curtis reading a script which was released on June 30.
Curtis "had everything" he needed and "everything has been perfect, food, clothing, even friends now," according to the script he was forced to read. The disheveled looking journalist added that he hails from Boston, Massachusetts.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that at least 67 journalists have been killed in Syria where Curtis was being held since the bloody conflict broke out there four years ago, leaving nearly 200,000 dead according to a recent UN report.
That violence has occasionally spilled over into Israel; just on Saturday night five rockets were fired over the border, exploding near communities in the Golan Heights.
As far as America's role in the Syria conflict, the approach has mostly been hands off until now. Following the brutal execution of Foley, the White House said over the weekend it was ready to "take action," indicating consideration of US military strikes against IS in Syria.