Nightly News   |  May 27, 2013

A bloody 48 hours in the Middle East

Violence erupts from Baghdad to Lebanon just as Senator John McCain makes a surprise visit in Syria with rebels. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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

>>> now to a growing crisis in the middle east . it has been a bloody 48 hours from baghdad to beirut. we learn about a surprise visit from senator john mccain who secretly made his way inside syria to meet with the rebels. our chief foreign correspondentry chcorrespondent correspondent richard engel joins us from eirut.

>> reporter: it was a particularly horrible day in baghdad . there were at least 15 explosions in central baghdad , the majority of them car bombings. most of them in poor shiite neighborhoods. at least 50 people were killed according to medical officials. this is a sign -- just the latest sign that the civil war in iraq is coming back despite so much american sacrifice. there is violence spreading across the region. in iraq, here in lebanon. of course in syria . syria is at the center of all of this. the war in that country is dragging all of the countries around it back into violence. then today, senator john mccain put himself right in the eye of the storm . he made a brief secret trip into syria . he crossed in from turkey. he was accompanied from a free syrian army commander. he stay on the grown for a few hours. senator mccain wants more done to help the opposition. he wants a no-fly zone. he wants the rebels to be armed. the european union announce it was lifting an arms embargo making it legal for european nations to give or sell weapons to the syrian opposition. natalie?

>> richard engel covering all front in beirut. thank you.