Kansas Citians and local lawmakers react to Obama's statement on Syria

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas Citians and local lawmakers are reacting after President Obama announced he would seek congressional approval of a military attack on Syria.

Kansas City is more than 6,500 miles away from Syria but people believe what happens there could have a big impact for us here.

Demonstrators from two sides of the issue gathered on the Plaza on Saturday evening to voice their opinions.

People like Jenny Zarzour, whose husband is from Syria, said she doesn't feel military action is the answer.

"The problem is if he does that then innocent people are still going to be hurt, there has to be another way, another solution," said Zarzour.

The other side, which includes some Syrians with family members still in the country, say they feel what is happening is not acceptable, urging that something needs to be done.

Iyad Sawaf's family is still in Syria. He hears what happens to people there every day. He was one of dozens on the Plaza showing their support for U.S. intervention because he felt it was the only thing he could do.

"The way it can be over is to have someone step up and say enough is enough, because I'm just a number, I can't do anything I'm just number 127, I can't do anything," said Sawaf.

Of those gathered at the Plaza, many are in support of President Obama's decision to seek congressional approval. But one thing is clear; everyone believed the Syrian government crossed the line by using chemical weapons.

Supporters say the attacks affect more than just those in Syria.

"As President Obama said today when weapons of mass destruction are being used, when chemical weapons are being used it does affect our national security, it affects our allies in the region and if nothing is done it's going to affect us directly," said Ammar Habib of Kansas City.

Senators are scheduled to be briefed next week. Both the Senate and House are expected to vote the week of September 9 th.

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-02) released the following statement today after President Obama's statement:

"I am pleased the president is seeking Congress' authorization, as required under the Constitution, for military action against Syria. As I said last week when I requested the President bring this issue before Congress, I am unconvinced military action against Syria is in our nation's best interest and I plan to oppose authorization."

Missouri's 4th District Representative Vicky Hartlzer said the following:

"I was pleased that the president has decided to seek congressional authorization for the use of force in Syria. According to the Constitution, Congress is the only one who can declare war, and so it makes sense to get the approval of the American people via their elected representatives before launching a military attack."

Kansas' 3rd District Congressman Kevin Yoder also sounded off, releasing the following statement:

"I do not believe a military attack against Syria is warranted at this time.  However, I do appreciate today's announcement by the President that he will seek the input of the American people and the consent of Congress. I look forward to discussing the President's plan with my constituents and giving it full consideration on the floor of the United States House of Representatives."

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