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Journalist covering war-torn Syria to LEX 18: Riots in D.C. "tragic"

Posted at 11:25 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 23:25:10-05

(LEX 18) — In the wake of a security breach of the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, world leaders have reacted with dismay and disappointment.

Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, called the scenes in Washington D.C. "shocking" and stressed that "the outcome of this democratic election must be respected."

The president of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who the United States has sanctioned over accusations of not adhering to principles of democracy, tweeted that the "U.S. has no moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy."

And in Syria, a freelance journalist who has covered the battles against ISIS called the chaos "tragic."

Mohammed Hassan, a Kurdish journalist who lives near the Turkish border, spoke with LEX 18 after messaging him on Twitter.

"I messaged you to ask you about the situation there," he said during a subsequent Zoom call Wednesday. "I was watching TV. It's incredible."

Hassan suggested the situation that transpired on Capitol Hill reminded him of the volatility he has covered in Syria.

"I feel it's tragic," he said. "Because for eight years we [have been] living in the same situation."

He said the major difference is his confidence that the institutions and history of democratic values in America will prevail.

"America is the source for democracy in the world," he said. "And they have values. They must keep those values."

Above all else, Hassan expressed hope that Americans will help uphold those values.

"American people are not foolish people," he said. "I think they will have the ability to find a solution."