TODAY   |  June 14, 2013

Richard Engel: Syrian rebels will lose without help

NBC’s Richard Engel discusses whether the Obama administration stepping up military support to Syrian rebels will make a difference or whether it’s too little, too late.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let's bring richard engle in this. this allegation that chemical weapons have been used by the regime is a caravan of lies but as we talk about deepening u.s. involvement is this arming the rebels? as many of the obama administration critics say too little too late?

>> reporter: well, we spoke to sources and rebels themselves and unless something changing quickly, the rebels are going to lose this fight. the key change happened when he has hezbollah started intervening. it's organized and fought israel twice and has done well. hezbollah could defeat the rebels. you also have the iranian revolutionary guard and iraqi ma leshias so they're going to lose.

>> if you arm the rebels how do you know you're arming the good guys and not elements of the rebels aligned with al qaeda and other radical forces.

>> reporter: that is a legitimate concern and there could be squabbling on the ground between rebel groups jealousies but they say the best way to weaken the fringe groups is by supporting the mainstream groups. the stronger you make them the more attractive they seem, the more supporters they can bring to their cause andill make the fringe groups appear more marginal than they already will.

>> a lot to watch here. chuck todd and richard engle thank you very much.