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Protesters of military action in Syria gather in Chicago Loop

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Some members of Congress want more evidence that Syrian leaders used chemical weapons against their own citizens before the U.S. takes military action. President Obama says the evidence is clear.

Some of the American public say there's no reason for the U.S. to rush into military action. A protest was planned for Thursday afternoon in Federal Plaza in the Chicago Loop.

With American forces on Syria's doorstep, Yaser Tabbara is headed to his war-torn homeland.

"The amount of horror is just indescribable, and as such, it is the least that we can do as Syrian expatriates to actually try to help as much as possible," said Yaser Tabbara, Syrian expatriate.

The 37-year-old Chicago attorney has been traveling to Syria since 2011 to work as an advocate for opposition forces.

He welcomes U.S. military involvement in the wake of an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syria's leader.

"I see it as a purely humanitarian priority," said Tabbara.

On Thursday, the White House briefed congressional leaders on the status of possible military action.

"Bashar al-Assad is an awful leader of that country. He has no future in Syria. How soon he realizes that, or he leaves, I can't tell you," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

On Wednesday, President Obama was sent a letter calling on him to seek congressional authorization before launching any attack.

It was signed by more than 100 House members, including Representative Randy Hultgren from the western suburbs.

"My fear is, and my guess is, that this will not be a quick conflict. And we better be understanding of the situation there, and I think it's important for Congress to know this now," said Rep. Randy Hultgren.

"President Obama's call for war on Syria is like throwing a bucket of gasoline on a raging fire," said Andy Thayer, anti-war activist.

The turmoil in Syria has caused a spike in the price of oil even though Syria is not a major oil exporter.

The country is, however, a big player in the textile industry, leading to fears of higher clothing prices.

"Definitely before the end of the year, if you're planning on buying instead of knitting a sweater for Christmas, you're going to see a higher price," said Joel Freimuth, Blue Pearl Consulting.

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