Nightly News | August 12, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Overseas this Friday night, defiant protests continue in the streets of Syria , even in the face of a brutal crackdown by the government of President Assad , who's ignoring growing pressure internationally to step down. There was more bloodshed and killing in Syria today. Our chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel has our report tonight.
RICHARD ENGEL reporting: In Syria , they called today the day we refuse to bow. And in at least 12 cities, thousands of protesters after Friday prayers showed they will not bow or be cowed, chanting against Syrian President Bashir al - Assad . It is a brave act of defiance. At least 25 demonstrators have been gunned down by the government in just 48 hours. Two thousand, human rights groups say, have been killed since March. The Syrian government says it is facing armed rioters and even compared what is happening in Syria to London 's recent outbreak of looting and vandalism. But few believe that. Some Syrian military officers are defecting and pressure on Syria is building from the United States , Turkey and Saudi Arabia .
Mr. ADEL DARWISH (Middle East Expert): For the regime to fall, we're going to see a lot of bloodshed happening within the next few weeks, perhaps months.
ENGEL: As Syria is rapidly becoming a pariah state. Richard Engel , NBC News.