Nightly News   |  August 25, 2013

Amid evidence of Syrian chemical warfare, president plans

Protestors gathered outside the White House to urge the Obama administration to intervene in Syria. President Obama has asked the Department of Defense to “prepare options for all contingencies” according to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. NBC's Richard Engel reports.

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

>> to the continuing crisis in syria and the problems it it's creating for the president and his team. based on witness accounts, the number of victims and other facts gathers by u.s. intelligence . we have two reports beginning with richard engel who is on the syrian border with turkey.

>> syria says it will allow u.n. inspectors to visit sites andly attacked but -- but it's important to know that these teams aren't tasked with trying to figure out who may have used chemical weapons , only if they were in fact used. there is is big distinction. the head of the syrian rebel unit has told us that he believes the syrian leader personally ordered chemical attacks against civilians. why? for two reasons. one a failed assassination attempt earlier this month and two, the areas are right on the edge of damascus and rebels were making progress in that area. and when you combine these two together, a failed asocial security nation attempt and weapons very close to his presidential palace , these two things led him to take this very drastic decision.

>> and tonight from iran warning the u.s. from crossing a red line saying that taking military action against syria will have severe consequences. how credible are those threats?

>> reporter: well, iran , of course, is backing the regime of the president. his regime denies that it ever used chemical weapons and now we're hearing these veiled military threats from iran that if the u.s. crosses a red line , that there will be serious consequences. the real question is what kind of capability does iran have. it could attack u.s. interest or attack israel or carry out some asymmetrical attack.