AMMAN (Dispatches) – Lebanese Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim visited Damascus after a trip to Washington as part of efforts to free U.S. citizen Austin Tice, who is claimed to be held in Syria, Lebanese broadcaster al Jadid reported on Saturday.
Ibrahim told al Jadid he went on a two day visit to Damascus and was in regular contact with Tice’s mother to tell her that he would continue to work on her son’s "file”.
"I won’t stop working on this subject and I promised Tice’s mother whom I met in Washington and am in daily touch with on the phone,” he told the broadcaster.
U.S. President Donald Trump has adopted the case of the freelance journalist and former U.S. Marine officer who disappeared while reporting in Syria in 2012.
Abbas said the trip to Damascus came after he visited Washington last month where he met with national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
Tice is introduced as a "freelance journalist” and former Marine officer and Kamalmaz, a Syrian-American "therapist.”
Observers say notwithstanding the titles that American officials and sources assign to the U.S. nationals -- who strangely happen to be present in conflict zones at critical junctures -- many are later found to be on the payroll of Washington’s military or intelligence apparatus and tasked with sabotage.
These have included the White Helmets, a Western-backed so-called aid group active in Syria that is blamed by Damascus and its ally Russia for staging false flag chemical attacks inside the Arab country to justify foreign intervention.
The U.S. and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting Daesh. The military presence continues to date, although Damascus and the countries supporting it defeated the Takfiri terrorist outfit in late 2017.