04:22 PM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 12/18/2012 08:30AM
Richard Engel, chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, and two of his crewmembers escaped Monday after they were kidnapped, psychologically tortured and held in captivity for five days inside Syria, Engel – standing with his two colleagues in Antakya, Turkey – said in a live broadcast on Tuesday's Today show.
"It is good to be here," said Engel, looking fit and sounding erudite as ever. "I'm very happy that we're able to do this live shot this morning."
Engel, 39, was with producer Ghazi Balkiz and cameraman John Kooistra to report on the insurgency that is fighting President Bashar al-Assad in the troubled country. He said Tuesday, "We were driving in Syria about five days ago in what we thought was a rebel-controlled area. We were with some of the rebels."
Suddenly, he said, "a group of gunmen just literally jumped out of the trees and bushes on the side of the road. There were about 15 gunmen. They were wearing masks. They were heavily armed. They dragged us out of the car."
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
19 Kids and Counting Spin-Off May Be in the Works at TLC: Source
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar Are 'Focused on Their Faith and Each Other' and Not Their TV Show: Source
Father of 12 Allegedly Beat, Starved and Raped His Children: Police
J.K. Rowling Shuts Down the Westboro Baptist Church's Message of Hate Like a Boss
Experts Say Duggars Botched Their Handling of Molestation Incident
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!