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Local Syrian born doctor talks about situation in Syria

A Pensacola doctor who frequently travels to Syria, canceled an upcoming trip because of the escalating tensions.

Channel 3's Amber Southard sat down with the Syrian born doctor to get his opinion on the situation.

The UN Security Council seems divided on if the Syrian Regime should be punished for using chemical weapons.
President Obama said they've crossed "the red line". Many fear airborne strikes could happen soon.

Dr. Aref Rifai is an ophthalmologist and retina specialist at the Center for Sight..
He was born in Syria but has lived in the US for the past 25 years.
When he heard the news of the chemical weapon attack, he feared for the people of Syria.

Dr. Aref Rifai "As an American I would look at this that you should not allow countries to use chemical weapons on their civilian population impunity it would send the wrong message to all of the bad actors and to the rest of the world that the rest of the world does not care."
Dr. Rifai has made several trips to Syria to offer his services as a physician.
The regime has targeted doctors, putting a huge target on his back.
Before the war there were nearly 2-thousands physicians in his hometown.
But now there are less than 100.
He says an intervention by the u-n may be the only way his country can survive.

"We do feel it's about time that the international community would intervene in a way and maybe punish the government in a way that would hopefully some kind of settlement would be reached in negotiations that would restore the peace."
He has been in contact with friends and colleges and they say they fear if the UN enters the countries as well as if they don't.
For now they are sitting on pins and needles waiting.

"There is really nothing that they can do no one knows what targets, what cities, what area's will be hit, so everyone is sitting and taking all the precautions."
Dr. Rifia says once Syria is deemed safe he plans to return to help the people. Amber Southard, Channel 3 news.