American citizen released from Syria after Lebanese intervention

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By Doha Madani and Abigail Williams and Reuters  with NBC News World News
American citizen released from Syria after Lebanese intervention
Sam Goodwin   -   Copyright  Goodwin family

An American tourist who has been held in Syria for two months has been freed after Lebanese officials negotiated his release, according to his family Friday.

Sam Goodwin, 30, was reunited with his parents Thomas and Ann Goodwin after being held in the war-torn country since May when he crossed the border in an effort to visit every country in the world. He used a travel blog, "Searching 4 Sam" to chronicle his trips to places such as Afghanistan and Haiti.

Goodwin family
Sam GoodwinGoodwin family

"Sam is healthy and with his family," the Goodwins said in statement Friday. "We are forever indebted to Lebanese General Abbas Ibrahim and to all others who helped secure the release of our son."

Sam Goodwin was last seen on May 25 on security footage at Assia hotel in the city of Qamishli, which is a regime-held territory in the otherwise Kurdish controlled area of northwest Syria.

Several U.S. citizens have been held in Syria since the war began there in 2011, including people held by jihadist groups such as Islamic State.

The United States has declined to say who it believes is holding Tice, but has said it believes he is alive and has sought the help of the Syrian government's close ally Russia to free him.

Last year the family of another American, Majd Kamalmaz, told the New York Times that he had disappeared at a government checkpoint in Damascus in 2017.

Last month Ibrahim flew to Iran to complete the release and repatriation of Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen with permanent residency in the United States who was detained there in 2015.