The family of an American citizen who was held in Syria says he has been freed after months in captivity of President Bashar al Assad’s regime.
“We are grateful to be reunited with our son Sam. Sam is healthy and with his family,” Thomas and Ann Goodwin said in a statement of their 30-year-old son.
Goodwin was taken off the street in May in Qamishli, as he was visiting Syria in a bid to visit every country in the world, a source close to the family and a U.S. official told ABC News.
“We are forever indebted to Lebanese General Abbas Ibrahim and to all others who helped secure the release of our son,” the Goodwin family said, adding, “We will have more to say at a later date. Right now, we appreciate our privacy as we reconnect with Sam.”
Goodwin is still in the region and hasn’t returned to the U.S. yet, the source said.
U.S. citizens are urged not to travel to Syria, which the State Department designates a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” country. Kidnappings by both the Assad regime and terror groups like ISIS have been common during the country’s ongoing war.
American journalist Austin Tice is still believed to be held in Syria, while a Chicago-based Syrian American woman was killed while in Syrian regime custody in 2016.