Thomas Roberts | August 21, 2013
>>> in egypt today former president mubarak could be freed from prison as early as tomorrow. a few hours ago, a court ordered his release after corruption charges against him were thrown out. the 85-year-old exruler still faces other charges including charges in connection with the deaths of demonstrators. his release could stir up mour unre more unrest. nbc news chief foreign krornt correspondent richard engel joins me now.
>> what has been the release to the potential release of mubarak ?
>> only convincing the egyptians that the old regime is coming back. it was over a month ago that the military rolled into the streets and threw out the unpopular, put elected government of the muslim brotherhood . now a massive campaign is under way to arrest muslim brotherhood leadership. the muslim brotherhood president detained since he was thrown out of office. people who oppose what they call a coup are not surprised at all that mubarak is getting out and the people who want the regime to come back and want the old sense of stability that egypt felt, although it wasn't democratic, i think is a good thing. by the way, nobody thinks mubarak will be restored to power at 85 years old. it is the previous regime rolling itself back into egyptian politics.
>> i want to talk about the serious imagines coming out of syria. death toll is said to be staggering there. nbc news has not confirmed this video but nbc news has been talking with a rebel spokesperson about it. what do we know?
>> reporter: i've spoken to several rebels who are inside these affected areas. this is not just one video but dozens of videos. in fact, there are probably more than a hundred videos by now that show a series of what the rebels call chemical weapon attacks in suburbs to the east and north of dadamascus. they put the death toll at 1,300 so far. that is a huge number. we have seen on these videos, dozens of children who are lined up dead in different rooms. some of them were in basements when they say chemical gas blood flooded it into the basement and killing people. medics treating people at hospitals exhibiting signs that would indicate some sort of chemical agent that caused their death. symptoms like rapid breathing, pupils that were constricted, death, but not showing any kind of outward signs of trauma, no other kinds of injuries, just asphyxiated bodies. a very troubling turn of events. the united states had called the use of chemical weapons by the syrian regime a red line and said in the past when there were much smaller incidents that the syrian regime crossed a red line and interesting how the white house reacts to this. the syrian government has come out and said that it did not use chemical weapons and that has been the consistent line from damascus since the start of this almost three-year conflict.
>> richard engel reporting in cairo,