NBC News's chief foreign correspondent and members of the NBC team reporting from Syria had been missing, apparently held captive by members of a Syrian militia loyal to President Bashar Assad, since Thursday. 

NBC News had asked American news outlets to participate in a news blackout after Turkish media outlets began reporting that Engel and Aziz Akyavaş, a Turkish journalist working with him, were missing. The group was freed on Monday after a firefight between their captors and Syrian rebels at a checkpoint, and they safely escaped to Turkey on Tuesday, according to NBC News.

Engel and his crew were unharmed, but underwent what the reporter described as "psychological torture."

"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,” he said.