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Syrians in Houston Want Action, After Reports of Chemical Attacks Outside Damascus

Syrian activists in Houston say it's time for the U.S. to take action. They're urging lawmakers and the Obama Administration to come out with a stronger response to the alleged chemical attacks on civilians in and around Damascus.


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About 4,500 people from Syria currently live in Houston.

Among them is Omar Shishakly. He’s one of the co-founders of Texans For Free Syria. His group has been in touch with people who have witnessed the carnage near Damascus, and he says it’s worse than what’s been reported.

“Even 1,300 people have been killed — it’s a low number. There’s more people [who] have been affected. As you know, chemical weapons [are not confined to] an area. It’s actually going to different areas, as well.

France is calling for the use of force if it’s proven the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people.

Shishakly says the “red line” that the Obama administration warned about has already been crossed, and now is the time to do something about it.

“The U.S., they send some humanitarian aid. But we need to stop the problem. We can’t just aid the people. We need to stop the killer who’s actually killing and injuring those people, instead of sending humanitarian aid.”

Shishakly says he’d like to see the U.S. and its international partners stop the attacks with air strikes to the facilities where he, and other activists, say Syria keeps its chemical weapons.

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David Pitman

David Pitman

Host & Announcer

David was HPM's local Morning Edition host from 2009 to 2020 — when he was moved to the position of Technical Director of Houston Matters with Craig Cohen, and Town Square with Ernie Manouse. David has extensive public and commercial broadcast journalism and production experience dating back to 1993 –...

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