EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSyrians Living In Charleston Want U.S. To Intervene
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Aug. 27, 2013 11:46 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The latest developments in Syria hit hard for dozens of Syrian families living in the Charleston area. Some of them, moving here within the last couple of years to stay with relatives to escape the country's violent civil war. Now, they're hoping their new country -- the Unites States -- will get involved to try and stop the bloodshed.
"We pray that our family members stay safe and out of harms way but there is no longer a safe place there, especially with chemical weapons," Dana Shammaa says. She lives in Charleston and has family members from Syria staying with her, out of harms way.
But she still has many family members in the war-ravaged country. We first met Shammaa in October, when her young Syrian cousins had been murdered.
Countless others have been killed since then, and last week the situation in Syria escalated, drastically. U.S. officials saying President Bashar Al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, killing hundreds.
"We just hope the U.S. decides to get involved as soon as possible," Shammaa says.
Charleston doctor, Hazem Ashhab, also wants the United States to get involved and believes they should have sooner.
Dr. Ashhab has helped organize several rallies in Charleston to bring attention to the situation in Syria, one that started two and a half years ago after an uprising turned into a bloody civil war.
President Barack Obama has said the U.S. would have to intervene if chemical weapons were used.
"He said that was a red line, I think he needs to keep his word or the United States' words and stature is on the line," Dr. Ashhab says.
He says he's not advocating sending soldiers into the country but he believes air strikes and a no fly zone could help the Syrian people fight back.
"The regime of Al-Assad is simply gassing his people," Dr. Ashhab says. "We stood up against Saddam when he did something like that."
Hundreds of thousands in Syria are estimated to have been killed, injured or forced from their homes and into refugee camps.
Here in Charleston, another rally is scheduled for tomorrow at 7 p.m. on the steps of the state capitol, to bring attention to what is happening in Syria.
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