New Jersey doctor travels overseas to help victims of Syrian war

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HOLMDEL -

A Monmouth County doctor traveled halfway around the world to help those affected by the violence in war-torn Syria.

Dr. Salem Samra, of Holmdel, just returned from abroad in Jordan where he worked at a Syrian refugee camp. He treated children born with birth defects, as well as people who are victims of bomb blasts and burns from the violence in Syria. Samra is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

“I don’t see really much of a difference between dying via nerve gas or dying via your house collapsing on top of you from a bomb,” Samra says.

Samra is the son of Syrian immigrants. He says that he is troubled by all of the violent events in his family’s homeland.

“My memories of Syria was a place of cousins and aunts and uncles waiting at the airport to hug you and kiss you,” he says.

Samra is working through the Syrian American Medical Society, where doctors travel to Syria and neighboring countries to provide medical care to those in need. He has made three trips to the refugee camp and performed as many as 50 operations.

Meanwhile the Trump administration promised a major decision on Syria in the next few days. The White House is also pushing back on claims President Donald Trump is to blame for an alleged chemical attack in the country over the weekend after he signaled intent to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

Mr. Trump condemned what he calls an "atrocious" chemical weapons attack.

“It was horrible. You don't see things like that as bad as the news is around the world you just don't see those images. We are studying that situation extremely closely,” he said during a press briefing Monday.

When pressed about Russia's role in the attack, the president said that Vladimir Putin may bear responsibility.

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