Nightly News   |  October 31, 2013

Syria dismantles chemical weapons factories

Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has so far weathered the storm as his forces continue to use artillery, missiles and napalm. On Thursday, Sen. John McCain grilled the U.S. ambassador to Syria. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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

>>> now to news from overseas specifically syria where we learned there was an air strike by israel to destroy missiles. tonight syria has met a major deadline of november 1 for destroying chemical weapons capability, part of the rule from russia that pulled the u.s. back from the brink of military action this past summer. we get more for richard engel on the weapons and where all of this leaves syrian president assad .

>> washington said assad 's regime would be punished for this. more than 1,400 civilians including hundreds of children gassed to death last august. a war crime and punishment didn't come, not with u.s. bombings but with a deal arranged by assad 's friend, vladimir putin . syria would give up chemical weapons by the end of next year mpt today a milestone, teams say syria rendered inoperable the declared chemical weapon factories.

>> the slower tasks is getting rid of the carnages of chemical weapons or precursors.

>> washington used to say assad was on borrowed time.

>> i think assad must go.

>> it is not a question of if. it's when.

>> he is no longer legitimate and he needs to go.

>> he remains and with renewed confidence, his forces still usic artillery and missiles and napalm. his people forced from their homes, many starving. some reduced to eating leaves and cats. many believe bashar al assad got away with mass murder with the chemical weapons deal hailed as a success if diplomacy. the inspectors awarded the nobel peace prize and assad looking cooperative. in washington the u.s. ambassador to syria got a grilling.

>> a mother watching a child starve to death is not comforting that that child has not been killed by a chemical weapon .

>> assad has so far weathered the storm exchanging weapons for power.