web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



NBC’s Jewish Reporter Kidnapped in Syria, Freed in Gunfight (2 Videos)

A shootout ensued, and the journalists escaped through the back of the van.
NBC's Richard Engel

NBC's Richard Engel

NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, 39, and two of his  production crew members who were kidnapped in Syria and held for five days, were freed early today, December 18.

Engel, who is Jewish, was interviewed this morning by NBC, shortly after he arrived in Antakya, Turkey.  The American news crew was taken there after they were freed, following a shootout between their abductors and Syrian rebels.

Engel explained that on Dec. 13, he and his crew were in an area of Syria they believed was held by rebels, when, as they drove along a road, “a group of heavily armed gunmen jumped out of the trees and bushes.”  The captors dragged the journalists out of their car, shoved them into a “container truck,” and killed on the spot one of the rebels with whom the NBC crew had been traveling.

During the five days they were held in captivity, the NBC crew were kept bound and blindfolded.  Engel said that while they were not physically beaten, they did undergo psychological torture.

The American journalists were told they had to “pick which one of the three should be killed first,” Engel said.   When they refused, the captors picked the producer, Ghazi Balkiz, and told the three that he would be killed first, and then fired their guns into the air.  Because all three journalists were blindfolded, they believed Balkiz was shot, just as Balkiz believed he was about to be shot.

On Tuesday, the journalists were in the back of what they described as a minivan being moved to another “safe house,” when the captors were surprised by a checkpoint manned by Syrian rebels.  A shootout ensued, and the journalists escaped through the back of the van.  The NBC crew was then taken to Turkey by Syrian rebels, where the journalists were able to make contact with their families and their employer.

In an understatement, an unshaven Engel said during his live NBC interview this morning, “I’m very happy that we are able to do this live shot this morning.”

Although they cannot say for sure, Engel told NBC that their captors spoke openly about their loyalty to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Engel said he believes their captors are part of the pro-regime “shabiha” milita, which is allied with Hezbollah, and trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

According to an NBC report, Engel and his crew understood that their captors hoped to exchange the journalists for comrades held by the rebels.

Engel grew up on the upper East Side of Manhattan.  He attended Stanford University and is fluent in Arabic.

There is another American journalist whom American officials believe is being held in Syria by the Assad regime.  Austin Tice, a 31-year-old freelance reporter, disappeared while reporting from a Damascus suburb on August 13.  A video of Tice turned up on September 26, neither Tice’s family nor anyone else has been contacted about him or told of his whereabouts.

The Tice family set up a website in the hopes that someone will be able to provide information about their son.


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

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

4 Responses to “NBC’s Jewish Reporter Kidnapped in Syria, Freed in Gunfight (2 Videos)”

  1. Art Swanson says:

    Engel is the luckyist Yid on Planet Earth. If these Radicals realized he was a jew, his little neck would have been sliced from ear to ear ala Anthony Pearl!

  2. Gil Gilman says:

    Another demonstration of what the world would be like under Islamic rule.

  3. Gil Gilman says:

    Another demonstration of what the world would be like under Islamic rule.

  4. Anonymous says:

    During the Gulf War, Bob Simon, also Jewish, was captured by the Iraqi's and kept for 40 Days! He PRAYED they wouldn't find out he was Jewish!
    I honestly don't believe the Jewish Reporters should be reporting in the ARAB countries!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Israel Air Force bombed a Hamas terrorist command center based in a hospital. The UN confirmed the hospital was evacuated before the raid.
3,400 Targets Hit by IDF So Far, Tunnels Remain Major Threat
Latest News Stories
M75 missile slammed into Ashdod home, crashing through ceiling into the balcony - but did not explode. Family was in apartment's shelter room and remained safe. July 21, 2014.

The Iron Dome team was busy Thursday with a dozen missiles fired at metro Tel Aviv.

Israel Air Force bombed a Hamas terrorist command center based in a hospital. The UN confirmed the hospital was evacuated before the raid.

IDF troops destroyed another 34 targets overnight, totaling 3,400 terrorist targets hit in Operation Protective Edge so far.

A law is on the table to strip parliamentarians of their status and citizenship if they back and endorse terrorism — as Balad MK Hanin Zoabi has.

11:35am Sderot and surrounds 11:18am metro Tel Aviv, Ramat Hasharon, Herzliya 10:59am Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Bat Yam, Holon, Elad, Petach Tikvah, metro Tel Aviv 10:58am Gan Sorek, Rishon Lezion, Ramat Hasharon, Ra’ana, Shfela, Gush Dan Hod Hasharon, Rosh Ha’Ayin, Kiryat Ono 8:03 am Ashkelon coastal region, Sha’ar HaNegev regional council 8:01 am Yad Mordechai, […]

Last night, the FAA lifted their travel ban on flights to Israel.

Sen Ted Cruz wants the administration to give straight answers to questions about the FAA ban on Israel.

Why is the ban on Israel’s airport different from all other FAA bans?

Abbas adopts Hamas as peace partner, big brave Kerry scurries out of Israel despite FAA ban and Mashaal goes off his rocker.

Yet again, non-anti-Semitic ‘pro-Palestinian’ demonstrators can’t quite seem to break free of anti-Semitic jargon.

Tomer Sargon of Netivot heard that IDF soldiers haven’t been able to bath in days, for lack of water and showering facilities out in the field. So he took it upon himself to help, by driving down to the Gaza border with a truck filled with huge water containers, just so the soldiers could have […]

Hundreds of Arabs gathered near Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem) Wednesday to attack IDF soldiers with stones and firebombs. Riots were also reported in Beit Omar, near Hebron.

Shots were fired outside the Hadar Mall in Talpiot, Jerusalem Wednesday. One individuals opened fire from a moped outside the mall this evening. No injuries or property damage was reported. Police said Wednesday night that a man suspected of having staged the attack was arrested in the Gilo section of south Jerusalem. Police have determined […]

Hamas terrorists fired mortar rounds Wednesday at an IDF field hospital on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, according to a report on Israel Radio. The Israeli army set up the hospital last week to treat Palestinian victims of Hamas’ “human shields” policy, but the report indicated that the terror gang has prevented wounded […]

The Al-Wafa hospital located near Shajuayia in Gaza City was a Hamas military compound.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants answers about the FAA ban on flights to Israel.

Sen Ted Cruz wants the administration to give straight answers to questions about the FAA ban on Israel.

U.S. President Barack Obama

Why is the ban on Israel’s airport different from all other FAA bans?

US extends ban on flights to Israel despite lack of such precaution in similar or worse situations.

Golani brigade commander was hospitalized after being wounded, but he returned to the battlefield to complete the mission.

The Ruderman Family Foundation rewards Jewish organizations for promoting inclusion of those with disabilities.

Israel’s transportation minister said cancelling flights to Israel is like handing a prize to terrorists.

Turkey is attempting to be seen as the protectorate for the Palestinian Arabs.

Members of congress should experience Israelis’ lives. Bomb Shelter Museum will be in D.C. July 22.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/nbc-jewish-reporter-kidnapped-in-syria-freed-in-gunfight-2-videos/2012/12/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: