Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
World

Report: CIA Boss Held Secret Talks with Syrian Spy Chief

The subject of the talks was Austin Tice, a former Marine who has reported for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers, CBS and other outlets

CIA boss Mike Pompeo speaking at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore
5 months ago

WASHINGTON – The CIA’s director held a secret negotiation with Syria’s intelligence chief earlier this year as part of an effort to free a U.S. journalist taken hostage in the Arab country five years ago, The New York Times reported Friday.

The phone conversation between CIA boss Mike Pompeo and Syria’s Ali Mamlouk occurred in February, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified U.S. officials. The subject was Austin Tice, a former Marine who has reported for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers, CBS and other outlets.

While further communications followed, the Times reported that the diplomatic effort collapsed after the U.S. accused Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government of killing dozens of civilians in a sarin gas attack in April and President Donald Trump responded by launching some 60 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base.

The Pompeo-Mamlouk call would represent the highest-level communication between the two governments in years. It also is surprising given the widespread allegations of Mamlouk’s culpability in human rights atrocities in Syria’s civil war. Mamlouk has been subject to U.S. sanctions since 2011.

The CIA declined to comment.


Tice disappeared in 2002 while working near Damascus, shortly after his 31st birthday. A month after his kidnapping, a video was released showing him blindfolded, being held by armed men and saying “Oh, Jesus.” He has not been heard from since, though the U.S. has believed Syria’s government might be holding him.

No nation or group has come forward saying it has Tice. Syria’s deputy foreign minister told a news agency last year that Tice “is not in the hands of Syrian authorities.”


The report of the secret talks came after U.S. officials confirmed a separate set of unpublicized negotiations with North Korea to free another U.S. citizen in captivity, Otto Warmbier. The 22-year-old University of Virginia student, who fell into a coma during his captivity, died Monday after he returned to the U.S. last week.

The two “back channel” efforts show the Trump administration’s willingness to engage in secret diplomacy with some of the U.S.’s most intractable foes. Trump has threatened North Korea with the possibility of pre-emptive attack as it nears the capacity to strike the U.S. mainland with a nuclear-tipped missile. The U.S. considers Assad’s government in Syria a state sponsor of terrorism that provides critical help to anti-U.S. and anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah.

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
Latest News

Sessions denies lying on Russia, pleads ...

5 days ago
Business

Senate GOP intent on scrapping health ma ...

5 days ago
Business

Asian shares fall, tracking Wall St, dro ...

5 days ago
Latest News

Washington GOP boosts pressure on Alabam ...

5 days ago
Most Popular

Private-Sector Analysts Confirm 2.4 Perc ...

By Omar Sánchez
Business

Volkswagen to Shed 30,000 Jobs, Cutting ...

By The Associated Press
Business

Iran Gets its First new Airbus Plane Aft ...

By The Associated Press
Business

Graft Accusations Made Against Chinese I ...

By The Associated Press
Business

Senate GOP intent on scrapping health ma ...

By Daniela Cabrera
Business