Breaking :

US Citizen Sam Goodwin Released From Syrian Captivity After Trying To Visit Every Country In The World

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Syrian officials released U.S. citizen Sam Goodwin who they held captive in the country since May, his parents said Friday.

Goodwin, 30, was abducted from the street in Qamishli, Syria, on May 25 after crossing the border from Iraq in an attempt to see every country in the world, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Labanon’s head of internal security helped with his release, The Washington Post reported. (RELATED: Assad Retakes City Where Syrian Uprising Was Born Seven Years Ago)

“We are grateful to be reunited with our son Sam,” Goodwin’s parents, Thomas and Ann Goodwin, said in a Friday statement. “Sam is healthy and with his family.”

“We are forever indebted to Lebanese General Abbas Ibrahim and to all others who helped secure the release of our son,” the statement continued, adding, “We will have more to say at a later date. Right now, we appreciate our privacy as we reconnect with Sam.”

Sam Goodwin is still in Syria and has yet to return to the U.S. His family has not released any additional details.

Good news for a change: US citizen hostage Sam Goodwin released from #Syria via Lebanon mediation.

Family confirms release. Goodwin disappeared last May near Qamishli. @TheNationalUAE https://t.co/15guPlPFRT

— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) July 26, 2019

The State Department designated Syria a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” country.

Syria has held and is holding a number of American citizens in captivity. Austin Tice — a freelance journalist and Marine veteran — for example, went missing days before he was set to leave Syria, where he was reporting on the impact of the country’s civil war, in 2012.

Majd Kamalmaz, a clinical psychologist with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Syria, is believed to have been detained at a government checkpoint in Syria in 2017 while visiting family in Damascus and has been missing ever since, according to his family.

Another American woman born in Syria, Layla Shwekani, was killed while being held in Syrian custody in 2016, The New York Times reported. (RELATED: Obama’s Syria Ambassador Backs Trump’s Decision)

Families of others who have been captured tend to stay quiet about the details of their missing loved ones so as not to attract unwanted attention while they attempt to negotiate their releases, according to The Times.

The Syrian government and its allies killed 103 civilians, 26 of whom were children, by airstrike in the last 10 days, United Nations official Michelle Bachelet said, BBC reported.

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Daniel Christof

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