Accessibility links

Spanish Journalists Return Home After Being Freed In Syria

Three Spanish journalists, freed after nearly 10 months of captivity in Syria, have arrived backed in Spain, the government said in a statement.

The statement said Jose Manuel Lopez, Angel Sastre, and Antonio Pampliega arrived at Torrejon air base near Madrid on May 8, a day after their release.

The three men were seen smiling and waving as they disembarked from their plane.

They were welcomed by friends and family members.

One of the journalists was quoted as saying that they were treated well by their captors.

The three men went missing last July near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

Spanish media reported the men had been captured by the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

The Spanish government said on May 7 that the journalists' release had been "possible thanks to the collaboration of allies and friends especially in the final phase from Turkey and Qatar."

It provided no information on the captors and how they were convinced to give up the journalists.

Previously, three other Spanish reporters were released in March 2014 after being held hostage in Syria for months.

Media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders ranked Syria as the second most deadly country for journalists in 2015, after Iraq.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and the BBC