Canadian citizen freed from Syria after Lebanese mediation

BEIRUT (AP) — A Canadian citizen, freed after being imprisoned in Syria since last year, has appeared before reporters in Lebanon.

Kristian Lee Baxter dissolved into tears at the press conference in Beirut on Friday, saying he thought he “would be there forever.” He then got off the podium.

Lebanon’s General security chief, Abbas Ibrahim, says Lebanese mediation helped secure Baxter’s release.

Ibrahim said Baxter had been held in Syria since last year for “violating Syrian laws.” He didn’t elaborate.

Canadian media reported Baxter’s disappearance in December, saying the British Columbia native traveled to war-torn Syria, seeking adventure.

This is the second time Lebanon has helped release a foreigner held in Syria. Last month, Ibrahim also mediated the release of an American traveler, Sam Goodwin, held in Syria for two months.