Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Locals ponder possible Syria strike

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By Justin Salhani
BEIRUT, Lebanon – A possible U.S.-led air strike on Syria has caused debates in the Middle East where locals are likely to feel the backlash firsthand.
“I’m not with the U.S. strike because it will not be directed at the Syrian regime but at at unarmed people,” said Barae Kayali, a 25 year-old Syrian marketing supervisor working in Saudi Arabia.
Syria is surrounded by Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan and Israel to the south and Lebanon to the west. The country has grabbed international headlines since a peaceful uprising turned into a violent internal conflict lasting 30 months and taking the lives of over 100,000 Syrians.
With the exception of Israel, fighters for and against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have flowed across Syria’s borders to exacerbate a conflict that is becoming increasingly intricate and complex.
Both Assad’s army and the armed opposition have been accused of atrocious acts of violence. On August 21, chemical weapons were released on the Syrian town of Ghouta near Damascus, the capital. Although this was not the first time chemical weapons were used in the war, it was the largest and demanded the attention of the international community.
Despite denial from Assad and his allies that the Syrian regime was behind the attack, western intelligence has released reports accusing Assad. Obama said in the past that if Syria were to use chemical weapons it would mean a “red line” has been crossed and the United States would be forced to respond militarily.

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