Richard Engel, chief foreign correspondent at NBC News and his crew vanished Thursday after crossing into northwest Syria from Turkey. NBC confirmed early this morning that after being kidnapped and held in five days in Syria, Engel and his production crew members had been freed unharmed.
In an interview early today Engel, who was released with his crew, said he believes that he and his team were going to be exchanged by their captors for four Iranians and two Lebanese citizens. The plan was thwarted when the kidnappers were stopped at a rebel checkpoint. Following a firefight several of the captors were killed enabling the crew an escape. The reporters believed they were kidnapped by government militia loyal to Syrian president al-Assad.