You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Local doctor says military response won’t help in Syria

Despite escalating rhetoric by the Obama administration on the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on civilians, Dr. Basel Yanes, who grew up in Damascus and still has family there, said military solutions will not work.

“First, this is a tragic and outrageous action,” said Yanes, 66, an oncologist at Dayton Blood and Cancer Center. “Whoever committed this outrageous crime should be severely punished.”

But Yanes, a native of Palestine who moved to Damascus when he was 1 and studied medicine at the University of Damascus, said only a diplomatic approach can solve the country’s tragic problems.

“This horrible event should really intensify the effort to try to find a middle ground political solution for this terrible conflict,” said Yanes, now a Centerville resident. “I think the superpowers, obviously the United States and Russia, need to put pressure on everybody, on both sides. The only solution is really to get some kind of compromise by getting the moderates on both sides to sit together and have a transitional government that ultimately needs to be a representative government of the people of Syria.”

But is that possible now?

“I hope it’s possible, because … we haven’t seen anything yet if this doesn’t get done,” he said. “I think this will continue to get worse.”

Yanes said members of his family, fortunately, live in a part of Damascus that has not yet been affected by the hostilities. But many are not so fortunate, he said, and he worries that it’s only a matter of time before the country is completely engulfed in the conflict.

While both sides in the conflict blame the other for atrocities, including what Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called the “moral obscenity” of an Aug. 21 chemical attack in a Damascus neighborhood that reportedly killed at least 350 people, Yanes said he doesn’t know who to blame – or believe.

“I stopped believing both sides a long time ago,” Yanes said of the Assad regime and the fractious rebel forces. “Whoever has intelligence to answer this question, is going to have to look at that.”

Likewise, he said he doesn’t have enough information to judge the Obama administration’s reluctance to arm the rebels.

But he doesn’t think a military strike will achieve anything.

“I don’t believe military is the answer to this conflict,” Yanes said. “I think the answer is diplomacy. It’s the only answer to this conflict.

“Continued fighting will only result in more casualties and more tragedies.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Mom who lost son to opioid overdose shares heartbreaking photo
Mom who lost son to opioid overdose shares heartbreaking photo

A Calgary mother wants the world to see the destructiveness of drugs. As her son lay dying in a hospital bed from an overdose of fentanyl, a man-made opioid, Sherri Kent climbed into the bed to comfort him and held his hand. Kent posted a photo of the emotional moment on Facebook in hopes of warning others to stay away from the deadly drug...
11 zingers from Hasan Minhaj's White House Correspondents' Dinner speech
11 zingers from Hasan Minhaj's White House Correspondents' Dinner speech

Comedian Hasan Minhaj ripped into President Donald Trump and coverage of his administration in a sweeping address at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Minhaj, a correspondent on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah," was announced earlier this month as entertainment for the sold-out event at the Washington...
Fantasy sports may be regulated in Ohio

With more than 57 million players in the U.S. and Canada, the industry around fantasy sports betting is putting on a full court press to get Ohio and other states to declare their industry legal. State Reps. Jonathan Dever, R-Cincinnati, and Robert McColley, R-Napoleon, introduced House Bill 132, which would declare the fantasy sports betting legal...
Athlete of the Week Mechanicsburg High School
Athlete of the Week Mechanicsburg High School

Name: Tanner Smith School: Mechanicsburg High School Grade: 12 Age: 19 Sports: Wrestling, Football Claim to fame/honors: 2017 DIII Wrestling State Champ Words you live by: “Every day is a day to get better.” Toughest opponent: Carson Kharchilava Biggest influence: Parents and coaches Game-day rituals: Tie my wrestling shoes perfectly What&rsquo...
Student of the Week Mechanicsburg High School
Student of the Week Mechanicsburg High School

Name: Peyton “Rayfon” O’Laughlin School: Mechanicsburg High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Extra-curricular: Bowling, jazz band, track and field Claim to fame/honors: Part of the Mechanicsburg boys bowling team that went undefeated this season and helped win the team its 8th consecutive OHC championship Words you live by: “You don&rsquo...
More Stories