Students, community discuss Syria

The Daily News

Community members met with Ball State students Monday evening in a panel to discuss the civil war overseas.  

Tarek Kteleh, a Medical Director in Muncie and vice president of Syrian American Medical Society, said he thinks the United States should try to solve the Syrian civil war diplomatically, but have not succeeded so far.

“Most of Syrians inside the country want U.S. to be involved and help the situation to get better because their family members are dying every day,” he said.

President Barack Obama suspended the Senate’s vote on authorizing force against Syria after accepting Russia’s negotiation to eliminate the chemical weapons. According to The Associated Press, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. will closely monitor the plan while continuing to be a military threat for Bashar al-Assad’s government.

According to the United Nations, more than two million Syrians are taking refugees on other neighboring countries and more than 100 people died in a recent chemical attack.

Kteleh said he thinks the number of homeless Syrians will go up if the situation does not change.

“Most of the Middle Eastern countries are ruled by dictators and people want to change that, but these dictators do not want to hand their power to people,” he said.

John Peterson, a medical director in Muncie, said he is against the U.S. starting war.

“I am against any war and do not want U.S. to get involved in military attacks because there should be other ways, diplomatic ways of solving this issue,” Peterson said.

Bassam Helwani, a local business owner, said he thinks awareness is important to make a decision.

“It’s not ‘strike or not strike’ — us being in Muncie should first educate ourselves and let others know about this situation,” he said. “We should raise awareness about situation in Syria because lives have been lost, infrastructures have been damaged and by us just sitting and watching, this does not solve the issue.”