CHARLESTON, W.Va. — “Free, free, free Syria!”

That was the cry heard from the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday night from members of the Syrian American Council of West Virginia and Friends of Syria. It was a rally and prayer service for the latest victims in Syria.

Around 50 people stood on the state Capitol steps along Kanawha Blvd waiving banners, Syria and United States flags and chanting for intervention.

“I know everybody is sick of wars. I’m sick of wars, but enough is enough,” said Charleston resident Dirar Ahmad, calling for the United States to step in.

The rally came in response to last week’s chemical weapons attack in Syria that left hundreds of citizens dead and thousands injured. An investigation conducted by the United Nations uncovered that the Syrian government—led by President Bashar Assad—was the source of those weapons.

“We need to stand up for morality, we need to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘Assad, your days are numbered. We warned you not to use chemical weapons, you used them over three times that we know of. No more.'”

Local physician Dr. Samer Nasher said Assad has gone too far.

“This president has no respect for human beings and no respect to international laws,” he said.

Nasher has family still in Syria and is concerned for their safety.

“I feel like there’s destruction, physical and humanistic, on every front and that’s how it affects me every day,” he said.

Reports indicated U.S. officials were working on designing a possible military strike against Syria that would deter from the use of further chemical weapons.

Nasher said that a change is already being seen in Syria simply with President Barack Obama’s recent comments about intervening.

“In the last 48 hours since the president said we are serious about intervening and punishing this behavior a lot of the big, high rank military officers with this president are starting to flee the country,” he said.

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  • Mark

    It looks like some of the people in that picture are of military age. Why don't they join the military and then volunteer to help "free syria"?

    • Patriot77

      The US military has no official military involvement in Syria. Your statement is false. The US won't just hand you a gun and uniform and parachute you into any country because you want to. Stop being such a fool.

      • AX MAN

        Patriot77, You could go into Syria as a illegal immigrant, I am sure that they would welcome your help.

  • Hillbilly

    Free Syria?? A country that hates the US?? You have to be kidding. I agree with Tim C above.
    We have 2 of our enemies killing each other in Syria. Now, why would we want to intervene and put a stop to that?

    • Patriot77

      Have you no basic decency? These are innocent humans dying. 100,000 innocent Syrians have been killed and you are happy about this? Syrians are not our enemies. They haven't done anything wrong to us - EVER! In fact, Syrians have helped us. Look up how many Syrian doctors we have here in Charleston. I'll tell you, more than 30. I'm fact, a few of them have taken care of my parents and wife. Don't be ignorant.

  • cb

    We really need to be careful who we are freeing. Who are the rebels we are freeing? Did the government really use the chemicals or did the rebels to entice USA intervention? We need to be smart about the region, Russia has a great relationship with Syrian leaders right now because they allow Russia to use their ports so Russia can access the Mediterranean sea. Will they stand by and give that up?

    Lots more involved than just chanting Free Syria.

    • Patriot77

      How can rebel forces unleash a chemical attack in Damascus when they don't even have basic weaponry? Only Assad and his regime have chemical weapons in Damascus.

      • cb

        So even if what you say is true, what happens next. What we did in Libya worked out so well for them and for us as a country? A terrorist breeding ground that is in turmoil. Yeah that is exactly what we need to create, hell lets bomb them all.

        Only his regime and I am sure no one could have infiltrated his regime and passed secrets right?

        Where were we in Sri Lanka when over 75000 people were killed through genocide. This is ongoing with major attacks happening 5 months ago or so. Why didnt we do the "Right" humanitarian thing then?

        I am sorry, but it is puzzling that the causes we strategically make are on one section of the map....

        How many people will die as unintended casualties of war versus how many were poisoned?

  • USAwow

    The commentators in this article are truly disrespectful and mosinformed. Stop watching CNN? you should stop watching biased Fox News. Great job fellow West Virginians. I thoughtt you would have more compassion and understanding, but your heads are too far up your buttocks. These people are your fellow Americans, human beings. As you can most are women and children and doctors. They cannot fight. They have poured a huge percentage of their incomes just keep Syrian people's stomachs full. They are not asking for "Americans" to risk their lives on the ground. Merely a no safe zone, a way to weaken Assad's forces for the FSA fighters to be able to stabilize the region. You want to just do nothing and let more blood be spilt? Well then the blood would be on your hands just as guiltily as Assad himself.

    • USAwow


  • 2XLPatriot

    The same "Freedom Fighters" battling against Assad and being armed by the U.S. are the same ones who recently beheaded a Catholic Priest. Al Queda makes up their ranks. Why would we intervene when they want to kill all Americans, Christians and non-believers? It is sad that innocent, decent people are dying but, why add more to the mix? These people have been slaughtering each other for centuries and we're not going to change that. When 2 of our enemies are killing each other, there is no need to intervene.

    • Patriot77

      And since when has the US been arming the rebels. President Obama announced it earlier this year but no such weapons have been seen on the ground. In fact, that's exactly what the rebels want - is a follow up on Obama's promise and a supply of weapons for the opposition.

      • 2XLPatriot

        Just because they haven't "Received" the weapons yet does not mean that the U.S. has not "Armed" the rebels. Mobil radios and $1 Billion in "Humanitarian aid". Tell me, can you be sure that none of that money went to buy arms from other countries? Why haven't you addressed the fact that Al Queda is filling the ranks of rebels? What about the murder of Christians by rebels? This, by any any stretch of the imagination is aiding our "Enemies". The radical muslims who would kill non-believers and the ones who would kill innocent people...."2 of our enemies." Since the CIA and DOD refuse to comment, it can be accurately presumed that the weapons are in transit. That's just recent reports as of August 17th. Seeking "Sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-tank" weaponry is an Al-Queda ploy to obtain these weapons and use against U.S. Soldiers and anyone else whose slaughter would "Guarantee" their passage into paradise.

    • Patriot77

      Innocent Syrian are not our enemies.

  • thornton

    Freeing Syria will not make Syria free.

  • Dale

    No military aid. No financial aid. Let the Syrian people revolt and take care of their own problem. Like our ancestors did several hundred years ago.

    • Patriot77

      Dear idiot,
      Don't speak out of ignorance. The US revolution wouldn't have succeeded had France not supported the US rebels with weaponry. And that is exactly what the Syrian rebels are asking for - weapons. The Syrian rebels are fighting Iranian conscripts, Russian war machines, Hezbollah guerrilla fighters, AND the Syrian army. Give them weaponry and watch them end the regime once and for all!


    No more wars. Lets solicit volunteers like this bunch, give them a uniform, a weapon, a field pack and deploy them. I guarantee you they won't be supporting this cause very long if they had to sweat and bleed. I still agree that all naturalized citizenship should begin with mandatory armed forces conscription. At least two years of service.

    • Patriot77

      What a foolish comment. Lots of these people have invested sweat, time, and money into this cause and would be glad to sacrifice their blood too. They don't like wars either. If you listened to what they are calling for, you'd know that they simply want an arming of the opposition. In other words, THEY DO NOT WANT FOREIGN BOOTS ON THE GROUND. Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah have already intervened on behalf of the brutal regime. 100K innocent Syrians have been killed. All they are asking for is weaponry to take care of their problem.


        Yes, and a lot of Americans need jobs, our children are suffering in poverty, our infrastructure in cities is crumbling. We need to fix our issues first before spending taxpayer money overseas. Enough is enough. Either the UN intervenes on their behalf or nothing else. Enough of our taxes paying for others problems when we have our own serious domestic issues to solve.

  • CaptainQ

    Are you kidding me? I didn't know there were 50 people of Syrian decent in the entire state of West Virginia!

  • Tim C

    We have 2 of our enemies killing each other in Syria. Now, why would we want to intervene and put a stop to that?

    • Patriot77

      Since when have the Syrian people been our "enemies"? Is it because they're predominantly Muslims? Are you even human making this comment with over 1 million children in refugee camps and thousands of innocent women and children killed. C'mon.

      • Greg

        Human? Are YOU serious? Humans are killing each other everywhere in the world. "Are you even human?" Get real.

  • DC

    Easy to chant when someone else is going to make the sacrifice...these people don't even consider the stress our military has been under for the last 10 years. You want to free them, drop your sign and head down to the recruiters office.

    • Patriot77

      There is no official US military involvement in Syria, maybe you should read up on the subject before making ignorant comments.

    • Shadow

      It is always easy to ask someone else to do a dirty dangerous job. If they are so concerned, I am sure there is an airline that will take them there.

  • Joe

    I actually think 4 shooters kiled Kennedy.

  • Truthteller

    How stupid are you people? Stop watching CNN and all the other lying networks. USA should not even be involved in this war. You people need serious mental help. Go to and learn the truth. Stop drinking and using the public water system. Obuma must be impeached.
    He is violating all the laws of the Constitution. You people are so sad it is really scary that you have your heads in the sand. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE

    • rick g

      Clinton was impeached but he stayed in office. Obama would have to do something like Nixon to get 67 senators to vote to convict. Impeachment doesn't mean Obama gets the removed from office. Sorry if you already knew that, I've run into some of the overpass crew that didn't understand that.

    • BigDave

      I wonder if Obama will send his Nobel Peace Prize over with the first missile.

  • RogerD

    Free Syria? Do they mean like the way we freed Libya that has constant violence and death? Do they mean the way we freed Egypt where Christian churches and businesses have been burned to the ground and civil unrest grows by the day? Do they mean we should support the same Muslim Brotherhood in Syria that have vowed to destroy America? Just asking.
    Actually, we really don't know at this point whether Assad and his regime used the chemical weapons or the rebel forces supported by Obama.

  • tw eagle

    what a bogus sham . . .there aren't many bobble heads in West Virginia , but the
    politicians have managed to herd a few
    in front of the capital building . . .do any
    of these sheep actually know what they
    are doing ? ?

    • Patriot77

      Are you an idiot? 100K people dead and you think this is a sham? Are their lives so cheap because they're not Americans? Where has this country's moral high ground disappeared? These people know exactly what they are doing. They are supporting every Syrian's basic human to right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If you don't see that, maybe you should study up on the constitution and the foundations thereof from John Locke and other humanistic thinkers.

      • Charleston,WV

        Let's not make a hasty decision like we did with the second Iraq War. Remember, that once we "pull the trigger" we can't take it back.

        • Charleston,WV

          You have domestic laws based on our U.S. Constitution and International Laws based on treaties. If you break'em, you're just as guilty. All I was trying to say was to give the process some time.

        • Charleston,WV

          I bet you also support the use of drones to kill Americans abroad without due process. Sounds goods, right? Who needs due process? Just form a list of whom your enemies are and blow'em up. Yep, sounds fair and just to me.

        • Charleston,WV

          Your exactly right. Drop the bombs, and let God sort them out. Ask questions later.