Protesters demonstrate support for U.S. action in Syria

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:


SEATTLE - A day after protesters filled Westlake Plaza to demonstrate against U.S. military intervention in Syria, crowds filled it to support American airstrikes there.

The decision now lies with Congress, which comes back from vacation next week.

Ayman Hafez said his family in Syria is living in fear.

"Every time we talk to them, we're afraid it might be the last time that we speak to them," he said.

Syrians said they have no doubt President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against more than 1,400 civilians last month despite Assad claiming the U.S. has a lack of evidence.

Hafez and others want more than just missiles.

"We've seen that symbolic attacks cannot take out dictatorships," Hafez said.

He believes the U.S.'s plan needs to include no-fly zones for Assad's military and weapons and logistics support for the opposition.

Asem Rustum said one of his family members has been detained for a month because he's anti-Assad.

"It sounds kind of strange to ask someone to come and bomb my country, but the situation is really, really dire over there," Rustum said. "This is right now the only good solution on the table."

But protests against intervention erupted Saturday, with people in Seattle, Los Angeles and across the ocean in London voicing their opposition.

KIRO 7 asked Syrians how they can persuade Americans weary of war to support military action and send the message to lawmakers. 

Hafez said they don't want troops on the ground -- like America's involvement in Iraq.

"We're not asking for the same thing," he said.

Rustum called it a humanitarian issue.

"I think if they study the issue more, if they try to read up on it more... I think they'll start accepting the proposal of using military action against Assad," Rustum said.