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Syracuse group protests US involvement in Syria

Protesters in Syracuse have joined a coordinated national demonstration opposed to intervention in the Syrian civil war.  

Derek Ford of the Syracuse chapter of the ANSWER Coalition admits it's been hard to get traction in the anti-war movement when it comes to the war in Syria.

"One of the reasons is because the United States is going at it in a very covert way, so we haven't been directly seeing the impacts of it," Ford said. "And also the Syrian government has been very thoroughly demonized in basically all of the media. So, basically all the people have been believing the propaganda that the United States government routinely puts out against the Syrian government."

Ford says in addition to being against the U.S. supplying arms to the Syrian rebels, his group also objects to plans for U.S. troops and intelligence personnel to train those opposition forces, and coordinate operations in Turkey and Jordan.

The reason for the escalation of operations against the Syrian government has been the contention that it is using chemical weapons. Ford says that hasn't been proven, suggesting this case is similar to the weapons of mass destruction claim that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Ultimately, the group would rather see the money spent on this operation used to help the needy back home.

"In the United States, we are faced with increased economic crisis, poverty, homelessness, economic instability, food insecurity etc., we are facing public sector job cuts. But at the same time the government finds millions and millions of dollars to arm rebels in a far off country," said Ford.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.