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Doctors React to Violence in Syria

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Posted: Jul 20, 2012 6:08 PM

Updated: Jul 20, 2012 6:23 PM

EDINBURG - Thursday was the single deadliest day in Syria, since the revolt against the government started last year.

The fight for freedom is bloody. Thousands of miles away from the revolt, local doctors are doing what they can to help.

Dr. Monzer Yazji is days away from another trip to Syria, where he'll treat patients on the frontline. "They killed three of our doctors while they were working with us three weeks ago," he told us.

Dr. Yazji travels back and forth from his Edinburg office to the Middle East country. People in the Rio Grande Valley donate to the cause. They've provided money, clothes and medical supplies. Other doctors in the Valley now want to save lives overseas.

"A lot of them, they were helping from outside, sending medical supplies. Now they are going personally," explained Dr. Yazji. "We are determined."

Dr. Ghanem Daghastini is also determined.

"When I was in Syria, I was almost killed twice," he said.

He hasn't returned to Syria in nearly 30 years. He spoke out against the Assad regime then. He and his wife were told they'd be hurt if they returned.

Suzanne Daghastani said the scenario is the same as Valley residents dealing with violence surrounding friends and family in Mexico.

"It's the injustice and that's the point. There's a group of people controlling the government and creating an injustice to innocent civilians," she said.

Each physician wants Americans to do something. "Write a letter. Say, ‘Where are we? What are we doing about this? What about the innocent children who are dying? Where do we stand,'" said Suzanne Daghastani.

The exact body count in Syria is unclear. The government releases limited information.

"We as doctors, we cannot accept something like this, mass murders. It's just not acceptable," said Dr. Daghastani.

From the Valley, Dr. Yazji has helped found an international organization less than a year ago. It's comprised of Syrian doctors working all over the globe. There are now more than 2,000 physicians on board.

Topics: Edinburg, Syria, monzer yazji, Ghanem Daghastini, frontline, doctors

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