Nightly News   |  September 01, 2013

Syrian refugees say US failed to deliver … again

Exiled Syrians say the U.S. has a pattern of promising to help them but then failing to do so. Americans are split on the issue of intervention. NBC’s Richard Engel and Luke Russert report.

Share This:

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

>>> now to the people caught up in this brutal conflict, a staggering number of refugees. by some estimates, 1 million children alone and the anxious syrian-american community united states , fearing the worst for their loved ones . we have two reports, the first with richard engel , on syria 's bored we are turkey.

>> reporter: the turkish border town has become a little damascus. syrian refugees now outnumber turks here, 2-1. in a damp basement live 150 syrian widows and their children. this woman has 11 children. her husband was shot by the syrian army . why did the u.s. postpone its attack on assad ? why, she asks? so that all of our young pen men will be killed? her friend, maher, says they were so optimistic washington was going to help them go home. we are asking obama to strike assad , like he promised, she said. syrians opposed to the regime made refugees by the regime, say there's now a pattern of the u.s. promising to help but failing to deliver. syrian rebels, we are told, they get weapons but few ever arrived. they were told president assad would be punished for using chemical weapons , but they are still waiting . this boy from aleppo sells tea on the streets. he hasn't worn shoes in a month. he lost them when he escaped syria . we were running, running, running, he said, and then we got here. on a stoop, he told me his father worked in a restaurant. went to the market to buy potatoes and a bomb fell. he was killed, he said. ahmed also waits to go home. but for many syrians, there was a harsh realization today, help from washington might not be coming. richard engel , nbc news, turkey.

>>> this is luke russert in anaheim, california. for high school teacher has san tweet and his syrian- american family , days are filled with anxiety, worry and fear.

>> just walking inside the house and look at your children sleep in peace, and knowing that other people cannot have that peace. we really lost the peace, the sense of serenity and the sense of humanity.

>> reporter: he tries call his family in syria daily. he doesn't always get through. but this day, he does. just a few hours after president obama 's address to the nation. the conversation is harrowing.

>> we are so scared. bash shar is killing us. i have no childhood anymore. i miss all my family. mr. obama, please president obama , please, please help us.

>> reporter: what's it like talking to them when they're in that condition?

>> they could have been dead by now, so it's really heartbreaking, at the same time i feel really happy inside that i can hear their voice.

>> reporter: while hassan understand the president's decision too seek congressional authorization, he thinks american intervention is needed now.

>> i called some of my friends in syria . they said, you know, it doesn't mean anything anymore, because, you know this is a time to hit.

>> reporter: for now the tweet family carries on.

>> it is heartbreaking, however, you do have to keep going on with your every day life. but it is in the back of your head no matter what you do.

>> reporter: their hearts are heavy for their loved ones . thousands of miles away , who are watching and waiting back home in syria . luke russert , nbc news, anaheim, california.