SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Many Syrians in Santa Barbara were reluctant to speak with NewsChannel 3 about the situation in their homeland, but Samhar Mashhour did.  He said the situation is horrific, with children dying daily.

He worries about relatives suffering and hopes the problems can be solved soon.

UCSB Professor Mark Juergensmeyer said everything that happens in the Middle East affects the U.S.

He said the United States is concerned because Syria is in a strategic location. He said Israel is extremely nervous.

In the midst of allegations of chemical warfare, there are three communities quarreling.  Juergensmeyer said a shared government like the one in Northern Ireland would allow people to live a normal life without a single dictator running the country, but getting the president of Syria to negotiate won't be easy.

 Juergensmeyer said people in the U.S. don't want to get involved in another war, but the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians should have consequences.