Nightly News | December 08, 2012
>>> now to syria where the eyes of the world have been focused all week amid new fears the assad regime is preparing to use chemical weapons to its own people. our chief foreign correspondent, richard engel , has made his way safely into syria . he filed this report just a short time ago.
>> reporter: there is a real feeling here now in syria , 21 months into this conflict, after 41,000 dead, that the rebels have momentum, controlling not just the open roads but many areas that were, until recently, under government control. on all of our previous trips into syria , we had to sneak across the border, coming in from turkey, going through the fields, hiding from authorities. it was very different today. now the rebels control several of the official border crossings between turkey and syria . we went through one of them. as we went through, the rebels were there. they stamped our passports. it was almost like we were entering into a liberated country. there is a new fear here, however, and that is chemical weapons . the rebels are completely unprepared for it. they don't have gas masks . they don't have any kind of early warning system. and they worry that the assad government, in desperation, could use chemical weapons . and rebels are appealing to the united states , to anyone who would be willing to help to provide them with training, to provide them with medical equipment in case there is an attack. richard engel , nbc news, in northern syria .