Syrians In Oklahoma React To Possible U.S. Strike In Syria - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Syrians In Oklahoma React To Possible U.S. Strike In Syria

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Magid Assaleh, a native Syrian, calls his home land a place of peace that has been tricked into turmoil. Magid Assaleh, a native Syrian, calls his home land a place of peace that has been tricked into turmoil.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

President Obama asks for authorization for a military strike against Syria for using chemical weapons against its own people. Now, Syrians here in Oklahoma and those familiar with the country are speaking out.

News 9's Evan Anderson spoke to a native Syrian who says more than 100 members of his family live in the country. But he supports the president, and a military strike.

8/31/2013 Related Story: Obama Seeking Lawmakers' Approval For Syria Strike

"We have never, ever thought this would happen to Syria," said native Syrian, Magid Assaleh. "It's a bad dream. A bad dream."

Assaleh calls his home land a place of peace that has been tricked into turmoil.

"They're trying to destroy the culture, but I can guarantee you the culture will win," said Assaleh.

He and his family were planning a trip home two years ago, but because of the civil war there, decided not to go. Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State John Kerry led Tuesday's effort to get lawmakers to support a military strike against Assaleh's country.

President Obama says he's open minded to modifying the resolution authorizing a strike.

"All the options are not good, and the president finds himself in a very uncomfortable position," said Don Betz, Ph.D., UCO Pres.

Betz has visited countries in the Middle East a number of times and says Syria is the keystone of the region.

"The military strike is almost inevitable," said Betz. "I can't imagine us being able not to do it. The question is it's proportionality, and what its targets are."

Betz believes the U.S. needs to act decisively and says the question is not the single action of a military strike, the question is what's the longer term approach to resolving the issues.

"There has to be a much broader effort. Once that is done, the United States needs to lead an international effort to address the regional issues," said Betz.

"My heart is tore up," said Assaleh. "I don't know what to think."

Assaleh just wants his country to be at peace.

House Speaker John Boehner says passing a resolution to use military force will be an uphill battle. The administration is using both public hearings and closed door briefings to try and change minds.

President Obama is headed for a summit in St. Petersburg, Russia where he'll try to build international support for a strike against Syria.

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