Protesters for and against U.S. intervention in Syria gathered in front of the White House August 31, 2013 as President Obama held a news conference in the Rose Garden. Reporters attending the news conference reportedly overheard protesters chants as the president announced his decision to seek congressional approval before taking action against Syria.
Police used barricade gates to separate the two groups of protesters, which consisted of a few dozen people on either side.
“We are here today to show the Syrian people that we are with them,” said Obadah, a supporter of U.S. intervention who declined to give his last name. “We stand by the Syrian revolution and we want an end to the chemical warfare that is being used by Assad. The United States should go in and they should help them. We are not asking for boots on the ground.”
Obadah said that he did not want war, but wanted to see enough military intervention to stop the use of chemical weapons against the people of his homeland. His message to protesters on the other side: “If we don’t want war, we have to stop the Assad régime from killing all the people. The only way to do that is to be involved militarily.”
Egyptian born Abdallah Elsayed protested in opposition to war and U.S. military intervention in Syria. “The U.S. history [has been] killing civilians and bombing major cities to make the Armies surrender,” he said. “I am here to refuse that … The U.S. has to calm down and seek peace.”
During his news conference Saturday, President Obama said that his administration would lay out the case for a targeted military action against Syrian regime targets as result of their use of chemical weapons that killed over 1000 people, including hundreds of children. According to the president, military action against Syria would not be open-ended, and would consist of limited, targeted action.
This article represents original reporting by the author.