Middle East

Syria: Views from the US and Damascus

Pro-Syrian protestors outside the White House
Image caption Pro-Syrian supporters demonstrate outside the White House in Washington DC

The past few days have seen many twists and turns in the debate on how the West should react to alleged chemical attacks in Syria.

Damascus has admitted it has chemical weapons, while the Congress vote on American intervention has been postponed to allow Syria time to hand over its weapons to Russia.

As the political and diplomatic drama continues, people in Syria and the US have their own concerns about the outcome.

Here, individuals from both countries share their views.

Anonymous, Damascus

First of all, Russia's suggestion is not because Russia cares about the Syrian people.

This move is intended to make Assad's regime avoid the West's intervention.

Russia is careful to keep the ugly Assad regime alive, careless about the many atrocities that regime is committing every day.

Image caption "We don't have a normal life. Prices are very high"

I think the Syrian regime will consult its Russian ally. Assad will do all means of manoeuvres to prolong things and likely will act to avoid any strike.

When people around me heard about the Western intervention, most of them expressed their welcome and pleasure, simply because all of us here are suffering.

Foreigners may think that we should be worried about our safety if the intervention starts, but our main worries are coming from the cruel and criminal regime.

If we are to be afraid, then believe me, our fears are 10% from the Western intervention, and for sure 90% from the regime!

We don't have a normal life at all. Prices are very high (five times more than it was three years ago), everything is expensive. Simultaneously there is widespread unemployment because all kinds of businesses are not going well

There are checkpoints everywhere and more difficulties for schools and public services etc.

Sam, Damascus

Who is going to pay for this war - poor US taxpayers?

Why is America trying to solve another country's problems?

Image caption A young girl from Damascus in her tent at a refugee camp in Lebanon

America should stop interfering in the rest of the world.

Instead of giving more trouble to world peace the US should work hard to solve its own problems of unemployment, a sinking economy, a sinking US dollar, immigration issues, education, healthcare issues, health insurance issues etc.

Russia is Syria's ally and so Syria is going to accept the Russian proposal.

We don't want America here. It should stop wasting time here in Syria, or in Iraq or Afghanistan.

As for normal life, there is no normal life here.

People are running away towards Turkey, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia etc.

Daniel, Maryland

The diplomatic and non-aggressive solution proposed by the Russians is a compelling route, but I feel strongly that America and its allies should intervene militarily in Syria.

My only thought to the Russian proposal is what will we do with Syria after the Russian proposed dismantlement? And what sort of reprimands will Syria get for horrifically gassing over a thousands of its own citizens after its weapons dismantlement is done?

Is merely getting rid of a weapon enough when a killer has blood all over its hands? I don't see how Russia's solution will deter any future use of chemical weapons.

This solution is too timid and the international community should have a moral obligation to do something dramatic against the use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria that would resonate through time.

Not only to bring justice to those snuffed by toxic gas, but also to cement a ban on usage that was already ratified by the international community decades ago.

Historians will look on this moment in time and say, "Look, we let that slip, what a shame," and point their fingers at Russia and then America and then the world for letting a silent killer roam free.

Matthew, Missouri

I'm an eight-year military veteran with two deployments to the Middle Eastern theatre.

I don't think the US should have any further involvement besides UN talks.

We are in enough countries losing lives. Russia and the nations closer to that area should do more, considering it's in their "backyard".

Regardless of what decision is made I stand behind the United States but would like to hear that the UN and other countries can handle something for once.

Gina, New York

I can see why people were believing that Obama's attack would be wrong.

Image caption Gina: "I believe Russia cannot be trusted"

I myself believed it until the moment the Russians said they had a "plan" for the Syrians to turn over their chemical weapons which they (Syrians) previously denied having.

It is only in the Russians' best interest for us not to attack "key" military targets in Syria.

I am not sure I concur with the opinion that we should do nothing.

If we do nothing then we do look weak to others who think they are "superpowers".

It is ironic how the UN as a whole did not want to get involved at all, until Russia proposed the handing over of chemical weapons.

I believe Russia cannot be trusted and we must tread carefully.

It is a very difficult position that America and President Obama are in.