TODAY   |  August 26, 2013

Syrians: No response from US ‘encourages’ Assad

NBC’s Richard Engel reports from the Turkish border that Syrians believe that if the U.S. does not respond with military force to what they believe are chemical attacks against citizens, it will only encourage Bashar al-Assad to strike again.

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

>> with richard engle. she in turkey near the syrian border. richard , good morning to you.

>>> good morning, savannah. we just came out of syria . that is syria right behind us. that is the turkish to syria gateway. and when we were inside talking to syrians they were desperate asking for the united states to intervene militarily. they said yes, this is not the united states war . they don't want american troops here. they don't want this to become another iraq but they said if there is not a military response from the world super power after what everyone in this country and inside syria absolutely believes was a chemical attack , that if there's no response it will only encourage bashar al-assad to use chemical weapons again. we met a family that just escaped their village and came closer to this area because they're afraid of more chemical weapons attacks. we saw a hospital where they're trying to defend themselves and prepare for receiving patients that may have been exposed to toxic elements and nerve agents and their capabilities are extremely limited. they set up a caravan, a nose to wash people off, to get them off of them and one gas mask . they are not prepared for what they fear would be the next phase of this war and they say that bashar al-assad started with helicopters and now is using chemical gas and unless someone does something it will only escalate this morning.

>> all right. richard engle, thank you very much.