National Security Council: 'We're aware of media reporting and social media activity indicating that a 2nd American citizen associated with ISIL has been killed in Syria. At this point, we are not in a position to confirm those reports. Should that change, we will provide an update' - @NSCPress
Photo: Journalist Peter Theo Curtis steps out of his mother's home in Cambridge, Mass., to hang up an American flag and speak with friends after being brought home from captivity in Syria - @antoinetteA
Writer Peter Theo Curtis upon return to US: 'I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today - strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants and, most of all, my family to say welcome home. I am also deeply indebted to the U.S. officials who have worked on my case. I especially want to thank the government of Qatar for intervening on my behalf' - statement
Free Syrian Army members patrol Attarib, on the outskirts of Aleppo, on July 30, 2012. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters)
The uprising in Syria was sparked in March 2011 in the southern city of Daraa with demonstrators angered by the arrests of young people who scrawled anti-government graffiti. Their grievances and calls for reforms were met with a violent security crackdown, reportedly by by President Bashar al-Assad's forces. The unrest served to catalyze anti-government protests across the nation.
More than 20,000 people have been killed since the uprising broke out, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in August 2012. In August 2012, Arab states -- including Saudi Arabia and the UAE -- urged their citizens to leave Lebanon after a mass kidnapping in retaliation for events in Syria raised fears that violence could be spilling across the region. - AFP, CNN, AP, Reuters
Toward the end of 2012, parties including Russia and UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi have worked to broker a peace deal between the Syrian regime and rebel forces.