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West Tennessee Syrian Native Speaks Out on Syrian Crisis

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.- President Obama announced that he will seek approval from congress to take military action in Syria on Saturday.

The Obama administration has accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its own people after the United Nations Weapons Inspectors left Syria, Saturday, bringing with them samples and witness accounts of an alleged chemical weapons attack.

"After careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope," said President Obama.

Each of the opposition groups have blamed each other for the use of chemical weapons. Hundreds of protesters across the nation rallied in the streets saying the civil war in Syria isn't a fight for the U.S to join.
For Syrian natives now living in the U.S., the crisis overseas is growing more desperate with their friends and family's future depending on the decision makers in the United States.

"I remember when I was a young boy, there was a great deal of hope because we are a very industrious, hardworking and educated nation," said Dr. Jamil Akbik, a Syrian native who now lives in Memphis, TN. "Syria is beautiful country, It's closest place to compare in the U.S. is Southern California."

Akbik told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News the only way he is now able to contact his family there is online through social media. He believes the only way Syrian people will see an end to their oppression is if the United States intervenes.

"These are people just like you and me who have families. They just want to live in dignity and freedom and raise their family the way they are supposed to," said Dr. Akbik. "When our fellow citizens in this beautiful country... when they know the reality, they always take the right side and always do the right thing and that's what we are counting on."

President Obama asked the nation Saturday to not turn a blind eye and consider military action.

"Here's my question for every member of congress and every member of the global community: what message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children in plain sight and pay no price," said President Obama.

The President said the action will not be a long-term campaign and U.S. Ground troops will not be involved. Officials said congress will be back in session to consider taking military action September 9Th.

"We are hopeful and certain and this country is a blessed country and we will find a way," said Dr. Akbik. "Our history shows this country was established to side with values. It might take a while but we always do the right thing."

Dr. Akbik said what Syrians need now more than ever is assistance. If you would like to donate to a fund that will directly help medical services in Syria, there's an account set up at any First Tennessee Bank underneath the name Helping Syria.



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