EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSProtest Held To Oppose Intervention In Syria
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Katy Brown
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Also Contributing: Dan Matics, Associated Press
Reported: Aug. 8, 2013 8:57 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 1, 2013 11:27 PM EDT
The White House said Sunday there is evidence that the Syrian government used a powerful nerve gas in an attack last month that has brought the United States to the brink of a military response.
But President Barack Obama called for a time out Saturday to let Congress debate and vote on whether to attack the Syrian regime.
And one day after the president’s announcement, people in the Eyewitness News viewing area were reacting and responding.
West Virginia Patriots for Peace gathered in downtown Charleston Sunday afternoon, hoping their message against possible air strikes is heard.
More than a dozen protesters lined up across from Haddad Riverfront Park, all opposing a possible attack on Syria.
Many people held signs. Some read, "no more airstrikes" and others stated the United States “is not the world's police.”
The Rev. Jim Lewis was behind Sunday's gathering. He said the message is to tell Congress no more interventions in foreign civil wars.
"No. Mr. President, don't do this,” Lewis said. “Don't do it. We'll just be back in more complications, like we were in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Those at the protest said they believe the president will continue with the military action against Syria, whether or not Congress approves.
"We've got to stand up strong now and communicate with our congress people and get our president to not make this move," Lewis said.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is suspending his West Virginia events for the upcoming week to return to Washington to attend briefings on the situation in Syria.
Manchin said Sunday that he was suspending events in West Virginia scheduled for Tuesday through Friday.
In a statement, Manchin said the decision to authorize the use of U.S. military force and weapons is one of the most difficult that a country can make.
He said he'll attend briefings with the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees and others to ensure he has all the information available before the Senate begins debate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Aug. 31, 2013
Delaying what had appeared to be an imminent strike, President Barack Obama says he will seek congressional approval before launching any military action meant to punish Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack that killed hundreds.
With Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea ready to strike, Obama appeared in the Rose Garden this afternoon to announce he has decided the United States should take military action. But he added that he also has determined the country "will be better off" if Congress renders its own opinion on the matter.
At the same time, Obama challenged lawmakers to consider what message the U.S. will send to a dictator if he is allowed to kill hundreds of children with chemical weapons without suffering any retaliation.
Lawmakers are scheduled to return to session on Sept. 9.
The push for war, has some with ties to Syria sounding off at home.
All week, rallies have been held to call for action.
One local man who is from Syria and still has family there. He supports the president’s call for a strike, and said the Assad regime needs to be brought down.
"He is really ready to go anf I think he needs just a little push,” Dr. Hatm Ossino said of Assad. “I think the strike will get the army to make an advance, and I hope he will be gone very soon."
Congress goes back into session next Monday, where the debate over whether to strike will be taken up.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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