Nightly News   |  December 15, 2013

Harsh winter adds to Syrian refugee crisis

Syrians who’ve fled to refugee camps in Lebanon now must battle miserable winter weather conditions. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

Share This:

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

>>> bloodshed and suffering from the nearly 3-year-old civil war shows no end. government air strikes today on rebel controlled areas in the northern city of aleppo reportedly killed 37 people, including 16 children. meantime, harsh winter weather is setting in, adding to the crisis. especially among the more than 2 million syrians who have fled. they include those in a refugee camp across the border in northern lebanon , just visited.

>> reporter: a miserable winter in a devastating war. syria blanketed in snow. the fighting is relentless. in battle-scarred aleppo, children, including some infants have frozen to death, according to an opposition group. families that fled syria have only flimsy tents of protection even where there isn't snow, it is still bitterly cold. each one of these makeshift tents are home to at least one family. and there are hundreds of camps like this. thousands of families. an estimated 1 million syrian refugees in lebanon alone. and they feel utterly abandoned. and desperate. mothers cling to children and grams for food vouchers. this one in northern lebanon , they're feeding 1,300. among them, 8 mold and her mom who escaped bombing. she left her husband behind, she tells me in a three-year war no one is winning, she cannot know when they'll be reunited. she passes the free blankets. they're not for her family. they are for those visit in even colder conditions. she is gathering firewood to try to keep her six children warm. they have only one blanket to share.

>> this is where you sleep. all of your family. there is no comforting her 2-year-old daughter. amnesty international said western leaders should hang their heads in shame for the pitiful help they have offered these people. while the war grinds on, the rebel fighters supported by the west are losing ground and refugees who look to america for help are losing hope. nbc news, lebanon .