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Local Syrian family reacts to President Obama's announcement

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Updated: 9/04/2013 9:37 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tony and Hazar Kassis watched President Obama's announcement while on the phone with their family members in Syria.

It has been three years since they traveled to Syria to visit their relatives. Now they're scared to go back.

"It's very bad. It's on a daily basis people are just on the street in their houses in their cars and suddenly mortar rocket attacks happen," said Tony Kassis.

Both Tony and Hazar's families live in the capital city of Damascus. Their safety is a constant concern, especially because they are part of a small group of Christian minorities.

"A couple of them have been displaced from the outskirts of Damascus to Damascus so this their last refuge," said Hazar Kassis.

Tony and Hazar hope peace talks will eventually prevail, but they fear the civil war is far from over.

"That's why we're advocating today, yesterday, for the last 24 months, diplomacy. We have to get all parts involved around the table to negotiate," said Hazar Kassis.

Tomorrow there will be a mass at St. Ephrem Syriac Catholic Church starting at 11 a.m. Many local Syrians are expected to attend to pray for peace.
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