Local reaction to Obama’s Syria announcement mixed

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- President Barack Obama's announcement Saturday to take military action against Syria has mixed reviews from the public.

In a national poll released Saturday, half of Americans oppose military action against Syria and 80 percent would like congressional approval before a decision is made.

High Point University Professor Larry Simpson has taught classes on U.S. and the Middle East since 1945.

Simpson said he's pleased President Obama has decided to wait for congressional approval before striking, but believes he should have contacted rebels that were not Al Qaeda affiliated as a first response.

"It's hard for a President to step back while that many people are killed in such a heinous manner," Simpson said. "We really need to depoliticize what's going on here because the problems are way bigger than domestic politics."

Senator Kay Hagan sent the following statement in an email when asked about the announcement:

“It is shocking and deplorable that the Assad regime would use chemical weapons on its own people, and the international community cannot allow this to happen without serious consequences. I believe seeking Congressional authority is the appropriate way forward. Without putting American troops on the ground, the atrocities in Syria require a strong response that will prevent them from happening again and ensure that Syria's chemical weapons stockpile does not fall into the hands of terrorists and further destabilize the Middle East.”

Congress returns from recess on September 9th.

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