A freelance US journalist who has been reporting from Syria since May has been in the custody of Syrian troops for about two weeks, reports the Washington Post. Austin Tice, 31, apparently got captured near Damascus, though Syrian officials haven't responded to US inquiries. The Czech government's ambassador to Syria made the news public in a TV interview and said she would work on his behalf.
In a statement, Tice's parents pleaded for his release: “Austin is our precious son, and we beseech the Syrian government to treat him well and return him safely to us as soon as possible." Tice is a law student at Georgetown and a former Marine infantry officer, notes the Post. He has contributed stories to the Post and McClatchy Newspapers, among others, over the course of the summer. (Read more journalist stories.)