Nightly News | April 23, 2011
>>> overseas, some major new developments today as we follow the turmoil in the arab world . in libya , rebels claim they now control another key city while in syria government forces again opened fire on protesters. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is following both stories tonight from benghazi, libya . richard, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, kate . we'll start in libya . after weeks of fighting, hundreds of dead and injured, witnesses and rebels say that gadhafi 's forces have pulled out from the center of the city of misrata . rebels claim gadhafi 's troops were driven out of misrata , the city liberated, after nato intensified air strikes this week and washington deployed armed predator drones for the first time. misrata is libya 's third largest city, just 120 miles from tripoli. tripoli is now the only major libyan city still fully controlled by gadhafi 's government. but with leaving downtown misrata , a new tactic from the libyan colonel. some opposition leaders worry gadhafi forces will simply slip back in in civilian clothing, making them more difficult to identify, even with predator drones. but even if the games many misrata are real, analysts say the nato mission remains confused and unclear.
>> i don't think we have made up our own minds as to what we're trying to achieve. are we trying to bring down a gadhafi regime, which is not golf to do, we could do that in 90 days , the tough part is what to do when gadhafi is gone.
>> reporter: but the conflict in libya is quickly becoming overshadowed by an explosion of violence in syria . strategically, far more important to stability in the middle east . on friday, the syrian government unleashed one of the deadliest crackdowns since the arab yub uprisings began. amateur video shows what happened when syrian security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of demonstrators, reportedly killing around 100. even now, the death toll remains unclear. today, the security forces opened fire again, shooting into crowds of mourners, killing more than a dozen. al jazeera rula amin is one of the few reporters still working in syria .
>> every day the list of demands by the protesters is getting longer and the goals higher. at the beginning, they were asking for just regular reforms. now you have more people talking about toppling the regime.
>> reporter: two members of syria 's parliament resigned today in disgust. but so far the government and its security forces appear united, and clearly willing to kill their own citizens to stay in power. and, kate , there has been a new development in yet another country in the region. a senior yemeni official says that yemen's president of 32 years, ali abdullah assad has agreed to step down. that transition would take place in about 30 days . until a transition actually takes place, yemen remains politically very unstable. kate ?
>> richard engel watching the region for us tonight. thank you.
>>> a program note , senator john mccain who was in libya this week will be among david gregory 's guests tomorrow on "meet the press."