Slain journalist’s family sues Syria for beheading

The family of Steven Sotloff, a journalist who was brutally beheaded by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists back in September 2014, on Monday launched a lawsuit against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad at a federal court in Washington.

The suit seeks $90 million in compensatory damages, as well as up to three times that amount in punitive damages, charging that Assad's regime gave support to the ISIS terrorists who horrifically murdered Sotloff.

"Syria's material support for (ISIS) caused the abduction and murder of Steven Sotloff," reads the lawsuit.

Sotloff's family in South Florida alleges that the Syrian regime gave financial, material and military support to ISIS; Syria for its part has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

It remains unclear if Sotloff's family would be able to collect if they win, as similar terror-related lawsuits in the past against Syria, Iran and Cuba have often left lawyers with great difficulties in trying to find assets that can be seized in order to compensate according to the US court ruling.

Sotloff was abducted back in August 2013 after entering Syria from Turkey as part of his work as a journalist. He was murdered on September 2, 2014, with a video aired by ISIS documenting his brutal beheading, just weeks after photojournalist James Foley was also beheaded.

Sotloff worked for several major US publications such as TIME, Foreign Policy and Christian Science Monitor, but he also did freelance work for two Israeli publications: the Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report.

He graduated from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya after studying there between 2005 and 2008, and eventually made aliyah (emigrated to Israel). But testimony from freed European hostages suggested Sotloff's captors did not have any idea he was Jewish or Israeli – despite the reportedly great lengths he went to in order to keep his Judaism in captivity.


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