Report: CIA Set Up Syria Back Channel To Try To Free Hostage
The White House set up a back channel with Syrian officials in an attempt to orchestrate the release of an American hostage, The New York Times reported. Journalist Austin Tice was abducted in 2013 in Syria and the U.S. believes he is held by the Syrian government. CIA Director Mike Pompeo reportedly spoke with the head of Syria's National Security Bureau in early February to negotiate Tice's release. While Pompeo's call had renewed hope that Tice would be freed, the Syrian government's gas attack in April and the U.S.'s responding missile strike further squashed relations.