I have been a foreign correspondent for over 20 years, specialising in conflict, humanitarian and security issues. An author and broadcaster, with a particular interest in the Arab and Islamic world, I have also previously worked for Reuters and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.
When viewed in the grand scheme of things one more foreign reporter missing in this charnel house that has taken the lives of countless innocent Syrians might not seem like much.
It will of course mean everything to the loved ones of Italian veteran war correspondent Domenico Quirico, the latest in a line of journalists who have entered Syria only to go missing or never leave alive. Some, like Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times killed in the Syrian city of Homs last year, have been my friends.