Swedish journalist freed in Syria
A Swedish journalist has been freed after being held by Syrian government forces for a week. Joakim Medin went missing in areas controlled by Islamic State militants, and it had been feared he had been captured by the jihadists.
He tells the newspaper Expressen that he and a Kurdish colleague had been detained at a Syrian army roadblock near the town of al-Qamishli and kept in isolation, and interrogated several times, but otherwise not treated violently. He says they had walked down the same street previously without interference.
“I feel OK. I’m worn out both in mind and body but I’m OK,” he told the newspaper. He says his captors said he was the first foreign journalist they had arrested.
The representative of the Syrian-Kurdish party PYD in Sweden, Shiyar Ali, tells Expressen that negotiations had gone on all day Saturday to free the Swede, but the talks stranded. Then Kurdish guerillas captured around 20 Syrian soldiers, including a high ranking officer, and they were exchanged for the two detained journalists around 11:00 PM Saturday night.