Connect to share and comment

Richard Engel, NBC correspondent, escapes kidnappers in Syria (VIDEO)

Richard Engel appeared on the Today Show after escaping Syrian captors.

Richard Engel Enlarge
Richard Engel, NBC's chief foreign correspondent, spent 5 days in captivity in Syria. (Handout/Getty Images)

Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, has been freed in Syria after being kidnapped 5 days ago. 

Last week Engel, along with three of his crew members, was blindfolded by kidnappers and “tossed into the back of a truck,” according to NBC.

Appearing on the Today Show Tuesday morning, Engel said, “It is good to be here. I’m very happy that we’re able to do this live shot this morning.”  

According to NBC, Engel and his crew escaped their captors Monday evening local time while they were being moved to a new location.

During the transfer, the group ran into a checkpoint manned by members of the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, a Syrian rebel group.

"There was a confrontation and a firefight ensued. Two of the captors were killed, while an unknown number of others escaped," the network said.

Engel and his crew entered Turkey on Tuesday morning, where they were evaluated and debriefed before appearing on the Today Show.  

On the broadcast, Engel said during their captivity they were subjected to mock executions while blindfolded and bound.

"We weren't physically beaten or tortured. It was a lot of psychological torture, threats of being killed." Engel added, "They made us choose which one of us would be shot first and when we refused there were mock shootings. They pretended to shoot Ghazi [Balkiz, an NBC producer] several times.”

Engel noted that he has "a very good idea" of who his captors are, adding he believes them to be members of the “shabiha” militia, loyalists to Assad. According to CBS, the group is trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and are backed by the Lebanon-based group Hezbollah. 

See more on Engel's story in this video:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121218/richard-engel-nbc-correspondent-freed-syria-video