President Barack Obama's address to the nation about Syria was of extreme importance to members of the Syrian community in the Mid-South.
Many Mid-Southern Syrians who watched Tuesday's speech still have family living in fear in their native homeland.
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Vascular surgeon Dr. Jamil Akbik has lived in Memphis for 35 years. He has brothers, cousins and a large extended family in Syria. Some of his relatives live in the communities that came under the chemical weapons attack in August. They could smell the gas in the air but were not injured.
Dr. Akbik listened very closely to every point, possibility and policy expressed by the president. A potential U.S. military action hits home for him and he's not opposed to it. The surgeon would like for diplomacy to create a peaceful resolution but he doesn't trust some of players at the table.
"I think he presented a very compelling case for intervention as be described it," Dr. Akbik said. "Limited that will stop the regime in Syria from using chemical weapons and hopefully limit his military machine so a solution can be reached at the end."
Dr. Akbik told FOX13 News he's saddened that it took so long for the president, Congress, and the American people to pay attention to the crisis in Syria.
"As of yesterday I think (military force) was the only option," Dr. Akbik said. "In the last 24 hours there seems to be a small opening. I am not extremely optimistic because that opening is controlled by regime that has been killing its people for two and a half years, supported by a super power that has been killing its own people for God knows how long, which is Russia."
He hopes our interest is long term.