The White House confirmed on Sunday that an American citizen held hostage in Syria for two years has been released.
Peter Theo Curtis, a journalist last seen in Ankara, Turkey, was a prisoner of the Al-Nusra Front (ANF), according to the Aljazeera Network, which broke the news of his handover to a UN representative. "Today, we join his family and loved ones in welcoming his freedom," National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a statement. "Theo is now safe outside of Syria, and we expect he will be reunited with his family shortly," she affirmed.
Rice added that the Obama Administration "will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to see that the remaining American hostages are freed." Curtis' release appears to be a move by the ANF to distinguish themselves from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who beheaded the American journalist James Foley last week. Both groups are offshoots of Al-Qaeda, but Al-Qaeda has distanced itself from ISIL due to its attacks on Muslims and use of brutal tactics. ISIL is currently believed to be holding three US citizens.