Native-born Syrians in Oklahoma favor intervention

Several Oklahomans who were born in Syria said they are in favor of the international community's intervention in the Syrian crisis to prevent more deaths and “atrocities.”
by Carla Hinton Modified: September 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm •  Published: September 7, 2013

Several Oklahomans with ties to Syria said the international community, including the United States, should intervene in the crisis in their native country to prevent more “atrocities.”

Friday, Dr. Farouk Kanaa and Dr. Anas Salkini, of Edmond, said they feel something must be done to stop the Syrian government's military, led by Syrian President Bashar Assad, from assaulting and killing Syrian citizens.

The troubles in Syria have come to the forefront since last week when President Barack Obama said he was contemplating military action against the Syrian government for its alleged chemical weapons attack last month that the administration said killed more than 1,400 people near Damascus. The Obama administration is concerned such action may spark reprisal attacks on U.S. interests in the region.

Obama is scheduled to speak to Americans on Tuesday about the possibility of taking military action against the Syrian government. Congress has yet to determine when it will vote on the matter.

Salkini, 36, said he came to the United States from Syria about 10 years ago to begin his medical career. He is a pediatric cardiologist with OU Children's Hospital.

He said Assad's suspected use of chemical warfare on Syrians is “an outrage on humanity.” Salkini also said actions by the Syrian president serve as “a loud wake-up call and a challenge” to the international community, particularly the United States.

“There have been unimaginable atrocities,” Salkini said. “This situation will only get worse without the free world's intervention.”

He said he wants Americans who are not familiar with the situation to know that what is happening in Syria is not civil war.

“It is people uprising against a ruthless dictator,” he said.

Kanaa, 65, an Oklahoma City medical doctor, said he moved from Syria to Oklahoma 40 years ago. He said he has relatives in Syria and he is doubtful that life will get better for his family and other Syrians unless other countries intervene.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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“This situation will only get worse without the free world's intervention.”

Dr. Anas Salkini,
Salkini, 36, said he came to the United States from Syria about 10 years ago.

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