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NYT: CIA Set Up Secret Back Channel With Syria to Try to Free US Hostage

Image: NYT: CIA Set Up Secret Back Channel With Syria to Try to Free US Hostage
(AP)

Friday, 23 Jun 2017 08:45 PM

The New York Times is reporting that the CIA's director held a secret, back-channel negotiation with Syria's intelligence chief earlier this year. The discussion was part of an effort to free an American journalist and former Marine officer, Austin Tice, taken hostage in the Arab country five years ago.

The Times, citing unidentified American officials, says the conversation between CIA boss Mike Pompeo and Syria's Ali Mamlouk occurred in February. The newspaper says further communications occurred, but that the diplomatic effort collapsed in April.

The conversation would represent the highest-level communication between the two governments in years. It also is surprising given the widespread allegations of Mamlouk's culpability in human rights atrocities in Syria's civil war. He has been subject to U.S. sanctions since 2011.

The CIA declined to comment on the report.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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The New York Times is reporting that the CIA's director held a secret, back-channel negotiation with Syria's intelligence chief earlier this year.
US, United States, Syria
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2017-45-23
Friday, 23 Jun 2017 08:45 PM
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