US President Trump says doesn’t know if Syria hostage Austin Tice still alive

This undated photo obtained from the family of Austin Tice, shows American freelance journalist Austin Tice. (AP)

US President Donald Trump said Thursday he didn’t know if an American journalist missing in Syria since 2012 was still alive.

“We’re working very hard with Syria to get him out. We hope the Syrian government will do that,” he told reporters at the White House.

“If he’s alive, we would like to get him back,” he said, adding that his administration had written to Damascus recently about the issue.

Tice was a freelance photojournalist working for AFP, McClatchy News, The Washington Post, CBS, and other news organizations when he disappeared after being detained at a checkpoint near Damascus on August 14, 2012.

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