Anderson physician says his homeland needs help from US

Bakdash is from Syria, visits relatives every year

ANDERSON, Ind. - A local physician originally from Syria says his homeland needs the country’s help.

Dr. Wa'el Bakdash was born and raised in Syria. He came to the United States in 1995. He now has a thriving practice in Anderson, Ind.

Bakdash still goes about his daily duties treating patients, but he cannot escape the images of his homeland in turmoil.

Reports of Syrian President Bashar Assad using chemical weapons on his own people is the reason he wants the United States to intervene.

"Somebody has to do something. Somebody has to stop this from happening. I personally believe it is a shame on humanity seeing all these massacres and doing nothing, because of a couple of vetoes from Russia and China. Nobody else is gonna do anything," Bakdash said.

That call for help puts the United States in a difficult position.

"We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we don't intervene, it sends a signal to the Assad regime and to his allies, especially Iran, that we will standby as chemical weapons are being used against civilians. That needs to be beyond the pale," Marian University Police Science Professor Pierre Atlas said. 

Bakdash said he does not want American troops to invade, but he wants attacks from ships and from the air, and a no-fly zone.

“I believe it should have been yesterday,” Bakdash said. “No time to waste."       

Bakdash goes to Syria every year. His mother and siblings still live there. He said some relatives have temporarily fled to Turkey during the country's turmoil.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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