Rally for political resolution to Syrian crisis Saturday in downtown Ottawa

As the world awaits word on a possible military strike on Syria, members of Ottawa’s Arabic community fear it will turn into another Iraqi debacle and are holding an anti-war rally downtown Saturday.

“We don’t want the U.S. there,” said Rana Ibrahim from Syria Solidarity.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s government is accused of launching a chemical weapons attack, killing hundreds of residents, including children earlier this month.

Prime Minister Harper said he has no plans for a military mission although he will support allies — namely the U.S. and France — who are contemplating military action.

Ibrahim has been in Canada for 24 years and said her parents, sisters, and extended family are in Syria.

“I’m the only one here,” she said.

“Just imagine when you hear there’s another terrorist attack in Damascus?”

A pro-Syrian government supporter, “we are behind our army,” said Ibrahim, adding “the job of the army is to protect people.”

Ibrahim will be joined by members of Nowar-Paix and the Ottawa Peace Assembly in supporting a political resolution to the Syrian crisis instead of another “illegal war of aggression.”

U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration insisted weapons of mass destruction were being hidden by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and justified waging war in that country. The allegations later proved false.

The rally follows a small protest at Carleton University on Thursday during a speech by Syrian National Council president George Sabra.

The event takes place at 5 p.m. at the Human Rights Monument along Elgin St. at Lisgar St.




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