Nightly News | August 01, 2012
>>> overseas we continue to follow this fighting in syria . the rebels way outgunned and up against seemingly impossible odds as they fight the regime and fight their way across the country side . our richard engel is reporting and today encountered the fighting up close. he reports from ariha.
>> reporter: 11:00 a.m . attack helicopters circle the sky. from a roof top we hear the assault begin. it sounds like artillery and tracings from the helicopters. we move down to the alley to try to find out why syrian forces are attacking this city of 70,000 south of aleppo . we see civilians fleeing from open areas searching for cover and rebels on motor cycles on the main square . it appears a large military con voy was passing through and as the troops were moving past here the rebels in this town opened fire on them. in a make shift rebel media center activists try to upload videos of the attack they have taken with small cameras. they show me syrian tanks are now firing. the rebels attack the convoy to prevent reinforcements from reaching aleppo but now this city is paying for it. back on the alleys men on motor cycles tell us there are bodies up the street, many. in a mosque, we find them along with their distraught relatives. witnesses say the victims were civilians standing outside a mosque and attacked by a helicopter. there seem to be many casualties. here eight bodies have been brought. they can't get them to the hospital so they are putting ice on top of the bodies. they can't move them because there is too much helicopter and mortar fire coming in. men embrace the deceased. oh, uncle, oh uncle this man cries. the rebels seem desperately outgunned and may have taken on a battle thap can't win. each fighter says he only has about six bullets and home made grenades. how are you going to defend yourself against a tank assault? god is with us he says. back in the media center bad news has just arrived. one of the rebels media activists has just been killed, one of more than a dozen killed today. and the rebels never stop the convoy headed to aleppo . nbc news in northern syria .
>> two things here. we are happy to be able to report that after filing his report richard and his team were able to safely get out of ariha and are now safe and in northern syria . one more note here we learned prior to going on the air tonight nbc news has been able to confirm that president obama has signed an order calling for mostly clandestine u.s. forces to support the rebels in syria .