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Biden says US government 'certainly' knows Austin Theis is being held by Syrian government

(CNN)President Joe Biden Wednesday, US government says US journalist Austin Theis 10} is being held in Syrian government custody and has called on Damascus to cooperate with efforts to release him after 10 years of detention.

"We know for sure that he is being held by the Syrian regime," Biden said in a statement. “We have repeatedly asked the Syrian government to work with us to bring Austin home.”

“On the 10th anniversary of his abduction, I am asking Syria to: I am calling on you to help end this matter and get him home." Hope to see Austin again soon.

The government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has not publicly acknowledged its detention. Thais, a freelance journalist and Marine Corps veteran, was detained at a checkpoint near Damascus in August 2012 while covering the war in Syria.

Austin's mother, Debra Tice, told CNN on Thursday, which is her son's 41st birthday. He is pleased that the president has named him, and it is a sign that the government is ready to negotiate his release.

I'm so happy that I said to you," Debra Tice told CNN's Jon Berman on "The New Day." "I think this is a sign from the president that the U.S. government is ready to engage with Syria to bring Austin home." The administration "will continue to pursue all available means to bring Austin home and continue to work tirelessly until he succeeds," he said.

“We continue to urge Syrian government officials to fulfill their obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and to recognize the detention of Austin and all other US nationals detained in Syria. Demanding that this is a responsibility under international law and an important step to ensure their safety, "their release," Brinken said. Another American, Majid Kamarmaz, was detained at a Damascus checkpoint in February 2017 and has not been heard from since.

Biden met his Tice parents, Mark and Debra, in early May in Austin. Following that meeting, Mark Theis said in an interview on CNN's "The Lead" with Jake Tupper that Biden "might create ongoing efforts and positive moves to get Austin home." I supported their efforts," he said.

"One of his ongoing efforts is to sustain engagement and engagement between the United States and Syria," Mark Theis said at the time. The two countries do not have diplomatic relations.

In a statement Wednesday, Brinken said: State Department.

In 2020, under the Trump administration, Carstens secretly traveled to Damascus to meet with senior Assad administration officials. and "discussed U.S. citizens missing or detained in Syria," State Department spokesman Ned Price said at the time. Lebanon's head of security, Ibrahim, has played a role in securing the release of American detainees in the past, including Syria's Sam Goodwin and Iran's Nizar Zikka.