NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A professor at Old Dominion University told WAVY.com he's worried about former colleagues in Syria, as the conflict there intensified Wednesday.
In the 1990s, Dr. Donald Smith taught in Syria at Aleppo University, which was bombed earlier this year. He said when he sees recent images of dying Syrian civilians, he imagines the worst for the people he knows who are there.
Smith said he is saddened he has not heard from a former student in more than a year and has no idea where she is.
"If she could connect, she would connect," he said.
Watching the country where he lived go through a two-year conflict that has killed more than 100 thousand people has been hard for Smith.
"The people out there, everyday that you ran into, are lovely people. They're just like people anywhere else," Smith said.
On Wednesday, U.N. chemical weapons experts took samples from several victims of last week's alleged poison gas attack. They hope to confirm if the people killed died from exposure to the gas.
Smith said it's not clear what the U.S. and other countries should do about the conflict.
"There are no easy solutions to the problem," Smith said. "Whatever we do will kill more people."
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