Nightly News   |  May 28, 2013

Syria rebels demand Hezbollah leave

The U.S. is pushing for diplomacy and is planning for a June conference in Geneva. Within the international community, there is a growing realization that something must be done now that there are at least 80,000 dead in Syria and more than one million refugees. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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>>> overseas now to a growing crisis in the middle east and a surprise announcement over the holiday weekend. we learned senator john mccain had slipped into and out of syria in just a matter of hours for a secret meeting with the rebels. the white house says it knew about the meeting in advance. he remains in the region tonight where it's been a violent fumich days from baghdad to beirut as syria 's civil war spills over into neighboring countries. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel in beirut for us tonight, richard, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. senator mccain is still in the region this is what the rebels have been hoping for a senior official meeting them, crossing a dangerous border if only for a few hours and showing solidarity. the problem for the rebels is, he's not the president. and although mccain is pushing for a no fly zone u.s. officials tell nbc news there's been no new movement on that. but there is a growing realization and a concern that something must be done, because this is what's happening without action. at least 80,000 dead in syria so far, more than 1 million refugee, iraq is going back to a civil war , lebanon is heading toward on internal conflict as well. almost every day now there are funerals for hezbollah fighters who crossed into syria to fight in the city of qusair. today hezbollah gave them 24 hours to leave syria or it would declare war . the u.s. is pushing for diplomacy. it wants a conference in geneva next month but that hit a snag. the syrian opposition meeting in istanbul can't agree, brian, on who to send.

>> richard engel with us tonight from beirut , thanks.