'We Cannot Go Back to Syria, Never': Syrian Families in Triad React To U.S. Airstrikes

Triad Syrian Families React To U.S. Air Strike

TRIAD, NC – Two days after President Trump ordered the bombing of a Syrian air base, members of the Syrian community in the Triad are voicing their opinions on the military action.

On Thursday, the U.S. fired missiles at an air field in Syria on the belief that the country killed dozens of its own people in a chemical weapons attack.

Now, Syrian families in the Piedmont area have mixed reactions.

Mohammad Alshokier and his five children escaped from the war in Syria four years ago.

“It's very dangerous there. I cannot live there anymore,” said Alshokier. “We cannot go back to Syria. Never.”

Now, they live in Greensboro.

Alshokier says the U.S. air strike gave him a sense that some justice had been served.

But he says very concerned about their loved ones back in Syria.

“I have brothers right there, cousins, nephews, all of my family is still there,” said Alshokier.

He’s not the only one who can’t stop thinking about the Syrian crisis.

Over the past six years, Dr. Muhammad Arida has lost three cousins in the war in Syria.

“There is really not a single Syrian family that I know that have not lost at least one person in this war,” said Arida.

Arida was born and raised in Syria, but is now a cardiologist in Burlington.

“There are certain days that I find it hard for me to get up and just go do my work,” said Arida.

Arida hopes more U.S. involvement will eventually help end the civil war in Syria.

“If it was just a one-time strike and nothing else happens out of it, I don't think that's going to solve the problems of the Syrian people,” he said. “I think there has to be a long-term strategy.”

As for the Alshokier family -- they're just glad they got their kids out of harms’ way.

“I want to say thank you to the American people for the hospitality,” said Alshokier. “I feel a lot of comfort right here.”

Both families agreed that they support Trump's airstrike move, but they don't support the travel ban he imposed because they have many family members who are unable to visit.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that the ban discriminated against Muslims and blocked it from going in effect.

Trump says he wants the case to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Trump administration is also vowing to keep up pressure on Syria and is signaling new sanctions will follow the missile attack.
 

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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