Bay Area residents hold vigil for Syria victims

SAN JOSE, Calif.

At Winchester and Stevens Creek boulevards about 100 members of the Syrian American Council in San Jose urged the United States to respond to what appears to be a toxic gas attack on Syrian rebels and civilians.

"Sixty-seven percent of those who were killed were children and woman according to the Syrian American Medical Society. It's not fighters. It's not rebels. It's children," said Feras Alhlou from the Syrian American Council.

The U.S. and the United Nations are calling for an investigation into what killed as many as 1,300 people. But the Bay Area anti-Syrian government activists are convinced the Assad regime launched chemical weapons into the suburbs outside of Damascus on Wednesday.

"There's no doubt whatsoever. You can't fake a child, a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old, 5-year-old children. How can they fake that?" said Sabbin Anwar of Santa Clara.

Almost everyone at the San Jose vigil had a friend or family member who's been injured or even killed in the war in Syria.

"Watching my own brother getting shot, it's not right," said Anas Alemam of San Francisco.

Another vigil took place Friday night in Walnut Creek with about 50 demonstrators. U.S. Navy forces are now moving closer to Syria and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, says it's time.

"I do believe that we have presently destroyers in the region that can use tomahawk missiles to destroy these chemical sites if they can identify which ones they are," said Speier.

The Syrian government says the allegations are baseless, but if confirmed, it would be the worst chemical attack in Syria's two-and-a-half-year civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people.

Copyright © 2023 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.