Award-winning Syrian opposition activist denied US entry

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2016 1:06 PM

BEIRUT (AP) — An award-winning Syrian opposition activist says he's been denied entry and turned back from the United States for unspecified reasons.

Raed Saleh, a 32-year old from northern Syria, said Thursday he doesn't know why he was turned back upon landing in Washington.

Saleh leads a team of nearly 3,000 search-and-rescue volunteers who have saved thousands of lives in Syria's five-year-old war. He had traveled to the U.S. before where he met with officials and presented evidence of the Syrian government's use of chlorine in bombs.

Damascus denies it uses barrel bombs and has said it destroyed its chemical arsenal.

Saleh was traveling Monday to receive a humanitarian award by InterAction — the largest U.S. alliance of non-governmental organizations.

State Department spokesman John Kirby had no specifics on Saleh's case.