PHOENIX - As the United States weighs military options in Syria, a Valley man who went there to fight against the Assad regime sits in a federal prison.
Eric Harroun is accused of using a weapon of mass destruction outside the U.S.
Harroun’s father Darryl tells ABC15 his son was just doing what he believes the U.S. should have done a year ago.
Harroun says his son enlisted in the Army to fight for freedom and has never stopped.
"He's trying to fight for freedom and stand up for the oppressed people in the world. And you won't find a better American than what Eric is,” says Darryl.
But when Eric was discharged from the Army for medical reasons, he couldn't give up the fight. So he headed to Syria to fight with rebels against Bashar al-Assad.
His father says his son fought against the horrific acts Assad would commit against his people.
"They bombed a home with 12 people in it, men, women and children. Eric helped dig them out and he said that was one of the worst days over there," said Darryl.
"I asked him about the chemical weapons and he said, 'Dad, they've been using chemical weapons for at least six months and that was five months ago.'"
That's also when Eric was arrested by the U.S government. They claim he was conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Darryl says he was just fighting to protect the same people U.S. leaders support.
“My son is not a terrorist. He’s just fighting for their freedom.”
Eric Harroun’s next court date is in November.
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