The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 30, 2013

Obama, Kerry make case for U.S. action against Syria

Local residents react to potential military strike

EDMOND — On the University of Central Oklahoma campus, Knut Evensen, a sophomore from Norway, and a couple of his classmates, were sitting at a table Friday in the student center getting ready for the long holiday weekend.

Evensen said he has been keeping an eye on the news and wondering what will happen next. He said he doesn’t like what he’s been seeing with all of the escalating war talk regarding Syria. There is usually no logic in military attacks, Evensen said.

“In Norway, we are pretty peaceful,” he said. “I think we all learned after the Second World War that war is never the answer. You’ve got to think ahead. I think war is all about money now.”

Rather than let the situation escalate, leaders need to work for a peaceful solution, Evensen said. If the United States acts, he thinks there is a pretty good chance for a broader conflict.

A preliminary U.S. government assessment determined that 1,429 people were killed including at least 426 children during a recent chemical weapons attack in Syria, the White House announced Friday.

It was an active day that saw U.N. inspectors in Damascus preparing to leave for The Hague and comments from President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry. Release of the assessment comes a day after the British Parliament narrowly voted against a motion to support the principal of military intervention, narrowing prospects for a coalition.

Since fighting began in March 2011 between the Syrian government and opposition groups seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, up to 100,000 people — perhaps more — have been killed, almost 2 million have fled to neighboring countries and a further 4 million have been internally displaced, according to UN estimates. At least 6.8 million Syrians require urgent humanitarian assistance, half of whom are children.

In 2011, locals took to the streets in the Syrian city of Deraa to protest after 15 schoolchildren had been arrested and reportedly tortured for writing anti-government graffiti on a wall, according to the BBC. Protesters called for their release, democracy and greater freedoms for Syrians.

On March 18, the government opened fire on protesters, killing four people. The next day, the regime killed a mourner at one of the victim’s funerals. People called for al-Assad to step down; he refused. The violence worsened, and the situation worsened due to the various players involved.

Friday, the White House announced it has assessed with “high confidence” that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21. Earlier in the week, the president briefed leaders in Congress on the situation.

Kerry said based on the pre-Iraq experience, U.S. intelligence has been carefully reviewed and re-reviewed. Some of the evidence, in order to protect sources, cannot be discussed publicly, Kerry said.

Kerry said the U.S. knows the Syrian government, which has the largest chemical weapons program in the Middle East, has been determined to rid the Damascus suburbs of the opposition, and that three days before the attack regime chemical weapons personnel were on the ground in the area preparing.

“We know where the rockets were launched from and at what time,” Kerry said Friday. “We know where they landed and when. We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods.”

He described rows of dead lined up in burial shrouds, the white linen unstained by a single drop of blood, and rows of dead children lying on a hospital floor, all dead from Assad’s gas.

Earlier in the week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke during a ceremony marking the centennial of the Peace Palace in The Hague, where evidence gathered by UN investigators is going. Ban said there is no military solution to the conflict, noting it would only add to the violence inside the country.

“To those providing weapons to either side, we must ask: What have those arms achieved but more bloodshed? The military logic has given us a country on the verge of total destruction, a region in chaos and a global threat,” he said. “Why add more fuel to the fire?”

Oklahoma City University political science professor Mohamed Daadaoui, who specializes in Middle East and North Africa political analysis, said since Obama made his “red line” in the sand remark regarding chemical weapons, the administration feels compelled to act, likely without a broad coalition.

A limited, surgical strike would not inflict long lasting damage on the Syrian regime, enough to change the situation on the ground, Daadaoui said. He questioned the goals of such action. And he also spoke about the potential for a broader conflict given the interests of Russia and China in the region. | 341-2121, ext. 108

Text Only
Local News
  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • Lambrecht Construction to build office

    The commercial site plan of a physician’s office was approved recently by the Edmond Planning Commission by a vote of 4-0.
    Lambrecht Construction plans to build the office at 3917  E. Covell Road in the Fairfax Business Office, north of Covell and west of Sooner Road, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
     View Results