Local Doctor Weighs In On Syrian Chemical Weapons Debate

By Jeff Neumeyer

August 27, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 6:09 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- People around the globe are incensed about news reports suggesting that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people.

A Fort Wayne physician with close ties to Syria is lobbying for a strong U.S. response to the Middle East disaster.

It hits way too close to home for Dr. Ammar Ghanem.

He still has family living there, and he fears for the future of a nation in turmoil.

Dr. Ghanem, a pulmonologist, watched with horror as images of dead women and children flashed across the TV screen, depicting an apparent chemical attack on civilians last week in his native land.

President Bashar al-Assad in Syria has said rebel groups were responsible, but Ghanem says that's absurd, claiming the government is the only entity in Syria with access to nerve gas or other chemical agents.

In the past year and a half, Dr. Ghanem has made several visits to that region to help treat victims of the ongoing civil war.

He says he will trust President Obama to take the correct action following the chemical attack, but he maintains al-Assad must pay a price for "gassing" his own citizens.

" I just feel, like you know, ashamed, as a human being, as a physician, to allow like a dictatorship and a criminal in the 21st century, to have the power to use chemical weapons against civilians at the mass level," Dr. Ghanem said.

He acknowledges that Americans are extremely leery of military action that might draw us back into another big conflict overseas.

But despite understanding the reluctance of the American people to get involved in the Syrian mess, he says if the U.S. does not make President Assad pay for this brazen act, he and other dictators around the world will be emboldened to violate human rights again, in order to get their way.

There are many tough questions that President Obama and U.S. military leaders must contemplate, as they plan a response to the events in Syria.

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