CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Every time he talks to his family, Dr. Abdul Rahman Zanabli can hear bombing in the background.
Zanabli's mother, brother and sisters all still live in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, now a stronghold for rebel forces attempting to bring down President Bashar Assad.
Just a few days ago, a government sniper killed one of Zanabli's close cousins while the man was on his way home from work.
"He was a businessman. He had nothing to do with the rebels or with the regime," Zanabli, a Charleston nephrologist, said.
It's not an uncommon occurrence. By some estimates, 100,000 people have died in Syria since summer 2011, when rebels began an attempt to overthrow Assad.
The United States has so far taken little action to end the conflict. That could soon change, however, following last week's alleged chemical weapons attacks in Damascus.
Secretary of State John Kerry has called the attacks a "moral obscenity" and said the Syrian government must be held accountable. British officials earlier this week requested the United Nations authorize the use of military force in Syria.
"This is not a local or regional crisis, this is a humanitarian crisis," Zanabli said. "I don't understand how anyone, any country or any superpower can sit and watch the Syrian population being bombed."
Although Zanabli is a nephrologist, he regularly returns to Syria to run primary care clinics for people there. In June, he spent about 10 days in the country.
"Every time I go there, the suffering and humanitarian disaster is just getting worse and worse," he said. "I don't understand how anyone could say 'No, we don't want to intervene.' "
The Syrian-American Council and the West Virginia Friends of Syria held a rally at the state Capitol grounds Wednesday night to honor victims of recent attacks.
Dr. Taoufit Sadat, a Beckley ophthalmologist and member of the Syrian-American Counsel, said he wished the U.S. had taken action in Syria in 2011, when the government opposition protests were still peaceful.