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Retired Navy expert looks at crisis in Syria

By Brittany Weiner
Published On: Aug 29 2013 10:16:28 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 29 2013 10:21:48 PM CDT

People around the world are watching the civil war in Syria, and waiting to see if the U.S. will respond. But one Bend man might be watching closer than others.

BEND, Ore. -

People around the world are watching the civil war in Syria, and waiting to see if the U.S. will respond. But one Bend man might be watching closer than others.

Loren Bailey spent nearly a quarter-century in the Navy as an intelligence analyst and the senior Arabic linguist for the Navy.

After devoting nearly his entire adult life to understanding the Arab culture and language, retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Bailey is well-versed in Syria's geography and culture.

"Syria has been off-limits to Americans for a long time," Bailey said Thursday.

It's a country that's been marred in conflict for quite some time. It's current regime has held control since 1980.

"That regime, for 33 years, has had a pretty iron fist approach to controlling Syria," Bailey said.

With the more than two-year civil war showing no sign of ending, the world waits to see if President Obama orders U.S. military intervention -- a move Bailey believes could mirror our involvement with Iraq and Afghanistan.

"There's basically three options," said Bailey. "To sit back and do nothing, and let the area sort itself out. A show of force, just to say that, Hey we don't like what's going on' -- or to get thoroughly, knee-deep involved in what's going on."

Bailey says he thinks our administration will show some force, to send the message that chemical weapons should not and cannot be used without consequences.

And he says if we look at other countries' moves, watching Russia is crucial, because of its veto power within the United Nations.

More than 100,000 people have died since the Syrian civil war started. There have been 7,000 deaths this month alone, allegedly more than 350 from chemical attacks.

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