NBC News chief correspondent Richard Engel, one of the most prominent and accomplished international journalists in the world has gone missing in Syria, according to Turkish news reports. The reports also say that Aziz Akyavaş, a Turkish journalist working with Engel, is unaccounted for. The two have not been in contact with NBC News since Thursday morning.
The network has been successfully keeping Engel’s status subject to a news blackout, this according to John Cook of Gawker, and many American outlets had been operating under their request until today.
NBC News had also taken to Twitter and asked people who repeated the Turkish reports there to take them down.
The network declined to comment on Engel’s whereabouts, but asked Gawker not to report what they characterized as “rumors” about Engel’s current status.
The Turkish reports have been referenced on Twitter by Slate’s David Weigel, Michelle Malkin, former MSNBC anchor David Shuster, and hundreds of others.
Engel is divorced and has no children, he was promoted to NBC News’s chief foreign correspondent in 2008. He runs NBC’s Middle East bureau and has been reporting on the ongoing conflict between rebels and forces backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Engel last reported from inside Syria on December 11th.
Gawker contributed to this report.