Local News

Local Syrian-Americans upset over US foot-dragging

Posted August 30, 2013

— Many Syrian-Americans say U.S. intervention in their homeland's civil war is long overdue. Although they were encouraged Friday by strong words from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, they said they said they don't understand the delay in taking action.

Kerry said the U.S. has "high confidence" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on a suburb of Damascus last week, citing intelligence reports that the attack killed more than 1,400 people.

Obama then said the U.S. was considering "limited and narrow" military action in Syria.

Still, Abed Hamed was angry as he watched coverage on an Arabic news station at the Al Baraka grocery store in Raleigh.

"He doesn't do anything. I don't know why. Something's wrong with him," said Hamed, a native of Damascus.

Syria's war has dragged on for 27 months. As many as 200,000 have been killed already.

"President of the United States, he's supposed to take action, like, a long time ago, not wait until now," Hamed said. "What difference if (Assad) killed like bombing houses or if used the chemicals? It's no different."

A Syrian fighter jet dropped an incendiary bomb on a schoolyard in Aleppo Friday, killing or maiming dozens of children.

"Assad and like Hitler. It's no difference," Hamed said. "Hitler, he burned Jewish people, and what's the difference between burning Jewish people and killing your own people?"

Syrians in Triangle say strikes would stop massacre in homeland Syrians in Triangle say strikes would stop massacre in homeland

Shopkeeper Mahir Habta said that, whatever action the U.S. takes, it can't be just a token strike.

"Giving him a nice touch on his hand, it's not going to work this way. I believe it'll not work," Habta said. "He's going to get mad, and he's going to kill people more."

Hamed said he doesn't want to see foreign soldiers on the ground in Syria. Air strikes against Assad and military supplies for the rebels would be enough in their fight for freedom, he said.

Although his mother still lives in Damascus and won't leave, he wants Obama to order air strikes.

"If he like killed some civilians in Syria (in an air strike), like if he killed 200 or 1,000, it's better than to keep Assad doing this over and over and over," he said. "He might kill like a million. Which way would you rather it to be?"


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  • Mustange Aug 30, 2013

    (I love how everyone hates this country until they need something) That's just it this country didn't need anything its the government that thinks the world needs us, they give our money away to foreign countries and borrow it if we don't have it and try to be the police for the whole world. We need a president with strong leadership and stand up and say to the UN and NATO we don't have a dog in that fight and stay home mind our own affairs. But nooo we gotta stick our nose into everything its a matter of national security. The only threat to our security is ourselves , we leave our borders open like a swinging door and we cant even fix that but we can go fix everyone elses problems GOOD OLE USA

  • lakeyk1 Aug 30, 2013

    Why the news media always quote any speech Obama makes as: Obama was stern,firm and strong...."let me perfectly clear" Obama is good at speaking, he has that down perfectly but the news media does not need to keep building his speeches up.

  • dawg59 Aug 30, 2013

    Let these Radicals kill each other...stay out!!!!

  • Mustange Aug 30, 2013

    This president this administration is a complete failure on foreign and domestic issues. Only thing they can really say they want to do is sign a UN gun treaty and they need the UN to help thim do that. Can not wait till their out of there!!!

  • lwe1967 Aug 30, 2013

    We have no business there. Every Nation is Europe is not going to help in this. We do not need to get involved in this! Someone make the President see this! The French will back out at the last moment. They are famous for this, except for Lafayette! We have rescued France twice in World Wars!

  • Slappy171 Aug 30, 2013

    They hate us.....then they want our help......we help them.....and the thanks we get is they go back to hating us. Why bother

  • Danny22 Aug 30, 2013

    only France has agreed to help Obama. He just doesn't have the skills to bring people together. And people wonder why he can't bring Washington together. He's a divider-pure and simple.

  • 426X3 Aug 30, 2013

    TarHeelBrit: Amen!!

  • trafalgerfountain Aug 30, 2013

    Al Baraka grocery store won't get any of my money. It seems there is nothing about this country that arab americans like except our support when they want it.

  • HockeyPlayerX Aug 30, 2013

    "Let's free the North Koreans who would be forever grateful. Why didn't we do that after the Korean war?" ... because we didn't technically WIN that war.