Austin Tice: Last News

Inside secret Syria talks aimed at freeing American hostages

Last summer, two U.S. officials ventured into hostile territory for a secret high-stakes meeting with American adversaries.

The Syrian government officials they were scheduled to meet in Damascus seemed ready to discuss the fate of U.S. hostages believed held in their country, including Austin Tice, a journalist captured eight years earlier. The release of the Americans would be a boon to President Donald Trump months ahead of the election. And a breakthrough seemed possible.

Yet the trip was ultimately fruitless, with the Syrians raising a series of demands that would have fundamentally reshaped Washington's policy toward Damascus, including the removal of sanctions, the withdrawal of troops from the country and the restoration of normal

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