Spanish Journalists return home from Captivity in Syria

Edited by Nelly Tawil

After spending 10 months in captivity, three Spanish freelance journalists have arrived in Madrid in apparent good health following their ordeal of being kidnapped in Syria last year.

“Journalists Jose Manuel Lopez, Angel Sastre and Antonio Pampliega who were kidnapped in Aleppo in northern Syria almost 10 months ago have arrived at Torrejon air base,” the Government said in a statement.

The three men were travelling to the northern city of Aleppo working as freelancers for various Spanish media reporting on the conflict, however only a few days after crossing into Syria from Turkey during July 2015 they all went missing.

Upon their arrival on Sunday their families and officials greeted the three journalists as they walked off the plane under driving rain at the Torrejon de Ardoz air base on the outskirts of Madrid.

The government distributed TV footage of the scene, which showed one of the men breaking down in tears as he hugged a relative.

The group appeared to have been captives of al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front.

Al-Nusra was in charge of the part if Aleppo from which they were kidnapped nearly a year ago.

Although the circumstances of their release have not been disclosed, the government acknowledged in a statement that their release had been “possible thanks to the collaboration of allies and friends especially in the final phase from Turkey and Qatar.”