-- Syrian authorities released a long-held American citizen from captivity in recent days, the U.S. State Department announced today.
Kevin Patrick Dawes is no longer inside Syria and was released from detention with the help of officials from Russia, which has close ties with the Syrian regime, and the Czech Republic, which represents U.S. interests inside Syria, U.S. officials said.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement claiming Dawes had been flown on a Russian military transport to Moscow, where he was handed over to officials at the U.S. Embassy. Dawes left Russia shortly thereafter, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dawes had been missing since 2012, according to the FBI's kidnapped and missing person website. His name was removed from the page just this morning.
Due to requests for privacy, the State Department offered very little about Dawson's case or the reasons for his detention. The FBI described him as a photojournalist, but multiple media profiles of Dawes draw that label into question.
Stories that appeared in both Salon.com and GQ describe Dawes as a loner, fixated on providing aid to war-torn regions of the world. Both articles claimed people who knew him through internet messaging boards believed he was in a fragile mental state.
The State Department said it continues to work though Czech officials to get information on the welfare and whereabouts of other U.S. citizens missing and detained in Syria, including former U.S. Marine and freelance journalist Austin Tice.