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Too Little Too Late? Locals React As President Addresses Conflict In Syria

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The crisis in Syria continues. But a diplomatic solution may prevent any U.S. military intervention.

Gigi Barnett has more on local reaction about a possible deal in Syria.

WJZ talked with two people close to the issue. Both say a resolution needs to come quickly.

Over the years, Dr. Riad Dakheel says he’s watched the Syrian regime destroy his hometown in eastern Syria. Last night, he closely watched President Obama’s speech on the next steps in that nation.

“People in the Middle East, all of them, looking to America as a leader of the free world,” Dakheel said.

But Dakheel, a doctor in Prince George’s County, believes a U.S. strike should have come months ago, before the chemical attack on more than 1,400 Syrians–many of them children.

“In Syria, there is killing every day. There is death every day. And people talk about 1,400 died from gas. That’s horrible,” he said.

The timing of Obama’s speech is a little too late for Middle East expert Art Abramson. Like Dakheel, he says a strike should have come sooner–with or without congressional approval.

But Abramson, who is the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, says the most important thing now is to end the violence quickly.

“The immediate objective is to stop the killing of the Syrian people with weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

And that message needs to be loud and clear. Both men say, if it isn’t, they fear other regimes in the Middle East will begin developing their own chemical weapons.

Both men also agree that any action on the part of the United States will bring some level of hope to the Syrian people.

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