Posted: Sep 6, 2013 3:17 PM by Lauren Bale, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Sep 8, 2013 4:55 AM
COLUMBIA - Ammar Alwattar is no stranger to the violence in Syria. The University of Missouri graduate student has lost cousins and friends to the civil war that has now claimed more than 120,000 lives during the two-and-a-half year struggle.
"One of my cousins got sniped right through the heart," Alwattar said. "Another cousin was walking by a mosque when a motorcycle bomb exploded and ripped his body to pieces."
Alwattar said the situation is tragic, but death is inevitable in the struggle for freedom.
"It's tough to see your children go. My cousins were younger than I am. It's hard to see and it's hard to hear but at the same time it has to happen. People will have to die for this dictator to be overthrown, sadly. History repeats itself, sadly," Alwattar said.
Alwattar also said the recent chemical weapon attack didn't come as a surprise to him. What was surpirsing, he said, was the public's reaction.
"The regime has used chemical weapons before on a much lower scale, but I was surprised that now all of the sudden everyone was interested. Thousands have been killed, millions have been displaced from their country, there are refugees all over the place. It just shows blood is so cheap. All of the sudden because chemical weapons were used, now we have to do something about it? No, the Syrian people don't want us. They don't want any help," Alwattar said.
Alwattar said no matter how long the war lasts, he is confident Bashar al Assad and his regime will be overthrown.
"They will topple the dictator if it takes another year, another 10 years. They are gonna win, it's just a matter of time," Alwattar said.
While U.S. lawmakers are debating intervention, Alwatter said he doesn't want the U.S. to get involved in the matter and that it should be left up to the Syrian people.
Lawmakers who support U.S. intervention have said Assad needs to be held responsible for using chemical weapons, which the United Nations considers a war crime.