The mother of Marine veteran Austin Tice told reporters on Monday that a top U.S. official is refusing to give permission for a meeting with the Syrian government to negotiate the release of her son, who went missing near Damascus in 2012.

"Apparently, somewhere in the chain, there is a senior U.S. government official who is hesitating or stalling," Debra Tice reportedly said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Debra Tice said she is not certain who this senior official is. She also praised those in government who are working to get her son back.

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A military funeral at Fort Jackson National Cemetery in 2014. Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Joel Quebec/U.S. Army

A U.S. soldier died on Friday while in Syria supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the Defense Department announced on Saturday.

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A damaged car, claimed to belong to Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, is seen near Baghdad International Airport, Iraq January 3, 2020 in this still image taken from video. (Ahmad Al Mukhtar/REUTERS)

(Reuters) - Iranian General Qassem Soleimani arrived at the Damascus airport in a vehicle with dark-tinted glass. Four soldiers from Iran's Revolutionary Guards rode with him. They parked near a staircase leading to a Cham Wings Airbus A320, destined for Baghdad.

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Photo: U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Ray Boyington

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The United Nations said 235,000 civilians had fled their homes in rebel-held northwestern Syria during a Russian-backed campaign of air strikes and shelling this month.

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A woman pushes a baby cart as she walks past rubble of damaged buildings in Raqqa, Syria, May 29, 2019. (Reuters/Aboud Hamam)

Russian military police have taken control of a base near the Syrian city of Raqqa that was controlled by U.S. forces until a few days ago, the TASS news agency reported on Thursday.

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian forces have entered Raqqa, the former de facto capital of the Islamic State caliphate, in one of the starkest examples yet of how Moscow has filled the vacuum created by President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. forces from northern Syria.

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