"The smuggler said bringing our team into Syria – without visas, without permission – would be difficult. And I had more bad news for him. We also wanted to film the crossing, and stay inside Syria for several days to conduct television interviews with members of the political opposition being hunted by the Syrian security forces.
The Syrian revolution has been one of the bloodiest of the Arab Spring. The government and security forces of President Bashar al-Asad have killed more than 3,000 people since protests erupted last March, according to the United Nations. The protesters have been demanding more political freedom. Thousands of demonstrators have been arrested or disappeared. But facts are difficult to verify because few journalists are allowed into Syria. Government officials closely monitor reporters it allows in. Our repeated requests for visas were denied. No reason was given.
Syria’s uprising is important and, to understand it, we would need to go inside.”
To read more about NBC News’ Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel’s dangerous trip into Syria, click here. His full broadcast report can also be seen tonight at 10pm/9ct on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams.”