SYRIAN STRIKES: Iowans React To Conflict

“I have decided the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets,” said President Obama.

The President said Syria should be punished for using chemical weapons but will give Congress the chance to authorize a military strike first.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin the debate to authorize the use of military force in Syria on Tuesday.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations were held on Saturday across the U.S. to protest a possible strike, including here in the metro.

On the steps of the Iowa state capitol, dozens of people turned out for the No War With Syria rally Saturday night.

Protesters held up signs and gathered to rally for peace.

Vets for Peace helped organize the rally but social media helped the movement grow.

Another rally is planned for Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at Cowles Commons, formerly known as Nollen Plaza.

Lawmaker Reaction

As Obama’s announcement came out, two members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation agreed that any military action in Syria needs their approval.

Congressman Dave Loebsack said the use of chemical weapons against civilians is morally reprehensive and should be unequivocally condemned by the international community.

After more than a decade of war and the countless sacrifices the military has made, we must exercise extreme caution, Congressman Loebsack added.

Congressman Bruce Braley is pushing for Congress to be called back into session immediately.

Before putting American lives at risk and spending millions of taxpayer dollars, we must be confident that any American involvement in Syria serves our national security interests first and avoids getting the U.S. involved in an open-ended military commitment, Congressman Braley said.

Syrian American Reaction

Doctor Walid Alshaikha is a Syrian American working in Iowa.

Alshaikha has lived in the Quad Cities for more than 10 years but he has family in Syria.

He said he hasn’t been in contact with his parents in a month because of the turmoil in the country and he is very worried.

“It truly breaks my heart that there is a very good likelihood that my parents are not going to see my kids anymore,” Alshaikha said.

“They always speak fondly about their days in Syria or the time they spent with my parents and I know deep inside that it will not happen again,” he said.

Dr. Alshaikha said the best he can do while he’s not near his family  is to try to stay hopeful.

 

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