Syrian Americans in WNY Protest U.S. Military Action

September 9, 2013 Updated Sep 10, 2013 at 5:18 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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September 9, 2013 Updated Sep 10, 2013 at 5:18 PM EDT

NORTH TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) - Dozens of people gathered in North Tonawanda's Gatwick Park on Monday to protest U.S. military action in Syria.

Among them, Christine Bitar, 19, of Wiliamsville. She was born here in the United States, but has extended family in Syria.

"It's really heartbreaking," she said. "Because you're seeing a country that used to be so beautiful and we used to go every single year to now a country that's in ruins."

"What am I going to expect once I go back? It's been three or four years since I've been there and now - going back within the next few years - nothing is going to be the same," said Bitar, who was joined by her brother and other Syrian Americans.

Despite the bloodshed in Syria and allegations that the regime there used chemical weapons against its own people, Bitar believes the U.S. should not launch a military strike against the country.

"I just think that Obama should stay out. I don't think he should enter in just because -- I understand 100,000 lives is gone, I have so many family and friends that have passed away -- and let the Syrian crisis be the Syrian crisis," she said.