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USF Professor says conflict in Syria is complex

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President Obama says the U.S. Should take action for using chemical weapons against it's own people.

The President says, " I've made a decision that America should take action. But I also believe that we will be much more effective, we will be stronger, if we take action together as one nation."

U.S.F. Professor Dr. Mohsen Milani says the conflict in Syria is a sectarian, ethnic civil war.

Dr. Milani is the Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and diplomatic Studies at U.S.F.

He says the opposition in Syria began as a democratic, pro-reform, non-violent movement, but he adds that has changed.

Dr. Milani says, Today what we have is there are three separate elements to the Assad Regime. One is the Free Syrian Army. These are essentially moderate Sunnis, many defected from the Assad regime and they are the ones who have been receiving support from the United States"

Dr. Milani says there are also terrorists involved in the opposition that have opposed U.S. interests in other parts of the region.

Dr. Milani says if the U.S. strikes the Assad regime in Syria it may destabilize the country, "Then that chaos, that security vacuum would be a fertile ground from which the terrorists can thrive and grow."

He also believes that U.S. involvement may prolong the conflict, "The most likely scenario that I see, in case of an attack, especially if the attack is effective, you're going to see Russia sending more sophisticated weapons to Syria and I think the Islamic Republic of Iran is likely to do the same thing. So it is going to be a long a protracted civil war and a messy civil war in Syria."

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