Man with local ties freed from Syrian captivity

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FBI photo

SEATTLE — The Seattle-area family of a U.S. citizen released from captivity by the Syrian government has confirmed his release.

The family of freelance photographer Kevin Patrick Dawes said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Saturday morning that they’re thrilled to welcome him home. They thanked the U.S., Czech and Russian governments for securing his release.

The U.S. State Department said Friday that the Syrian government had released the 33-year-old on Friday. He was turned over to authorities from Russia, which has been backing the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the civil war that is now in its sixth year.

U.S. officials said Dawes, who lived in San Diego, was abducted in 2012.

When reached by the AP by e-mail, family members in Renton, Wash., said their thoughts were with other families who have loved ones missing overseas.