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El Pasoans remain skeptical after Obama speech on Syria

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 10:59 PM MDT

By: Bill Melugin
EL PASO, Texas -- President Barack Obama delivered a 16-minute address to the nation to pitch his case for military intervention in Syria, but some are saying it didn't clear things up.

KFOX14 watched the speech with a group of students at University of Texas at El Paso.

"I always enjoy Obama's speeches, but I'm not sure it clears at muddy waters," said Carlos Maruffo. "The speech didn't really shed light on a whole lot of facts or questions that I have."

Some students don't believe the president's promise to not put American boots on the ground in Syria.

"We have 300 marines stationed at the south border, and five destroyers," Horacio Huerta said. "Before the red line speech, we already had CIA agents there, supplying them with not just money, but weapons, training them, more boots on the ground I don't think is a good idea."

El Paso U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke chimed in as well, tweeting, "Appreciate hearing from POTUS, but still too many unanswered questions. Let's put our muscle and mind into making Russian proposal work."

UTEP students worry how a strike against Syria could implement other countries.

"Russia has a big Naval base there, with a U.S. strike in Syria, is Russia going to think that were violating the sovereignty of the Syrian people through the protection of Russia?" Huerta said. "He pretty much doesn't want to be another Bush. Bush just busted in there, he used his war powers in the Constitution, did not report to Congress, he doesn't want to do that, he wants to put it to the American people first."

"More military presence, that's all I can really predict, and I hope for peace, but who's to know," Maruffo said.

El Pasoans remain skeptical after Obama speech on Syria

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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


Syria National Videos


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