Qatar helped in the freeing of a journalist that was held captive since 2012 on Sunday and now tries to help out 4 more Americans that are captured by armed groups in Syria.
The country of Qatar has been accused by Western politicians and Arab neighbors of supporting anti-Western militant groups in Syria and Iraq. The recent initiative aims to dismiss these claims.
Qatar mediated the release of Syrian and foreign captives on different occasions during the 3 year-old civil war in Syria, although it backs some of the factions that want to remove president Bashar al-Assad.
The latest of the hostage diplomacy successes saw the release on Sunday of Peter Theo Curtis. He was captured by an al Qaeda affiliate, al-Nusra Front. An anonymous source declared:
“Four other Americans who have gone missing in Syria have now been located, and Qatar is working to free them.”
A Syria rebel commander declared that Qatar is constantly trying to help in the release of various captives. He declared:
“Qatar has good connection here on the ground with various groups. Freeing hostages is their priority, and whenever there is a chance, they help. They use these connections to release hostages. Right now they are working on several issues regarding hostages.”
Details about how Curtis was freed are not clear but it seems that the US first obtained proof that Curtis was still alive. That allowed negotiations to start and they led to his release.