U.S. military strikes met with optimism, hope by South Florida Syrian-Americans

Doured Daghistani has been waiting for the United States to take a stronger approach against Syria ever since the country's conflict began in March 2011.

The Syrian-American doctor has been vocal about the U.S.'s policies regarding President Bashar al-Assad.

So when it was announced Thursday night that the U.S. had launched 59 Tomahawk missiles from destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea at a Syrian government airbase where the warplanes that carried out chemical attacks were based, his reaction was one of satisfaction.

"This is the beginning of the end," he said. "This is a message for accountability."

The conflict in Syria can be traced back to the Arab Spring when pro-democracy protests took place after teens were tortured for painting anti-government graffiti on a wall.

The regime responded to the growing protests with force and soon the conflict, and subsequent the humanitarian crisis, grew. 

Throughout the years Assad used chemical weapons against civilians. 

The latest chemical attack, which killed 70 people and injured dozens, prompted the U.S. to react with force.

"Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children.  It was a slow and brutal death for so many.  Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack.  No child of God should ever suffer such horror," President Donald Trump said late Thursday. "Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically.  As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies."

About 5 million Syrians have been documented as refugees since the conflict began, and 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country, according to the United Nations.

In addition, roughly 250,000 have been killed and more than 1 million  have been injured.

"Just two days ago, Assad used the chemical weapons again. It's truly a miracle that there are even Syrians left in Syria," Dima Samra said. "What's going on in Syria is genocide."

Samra was born in the U.S. and moved to Syria in her early 20s with her family. They moved back to South Florida as the conflict intensified. 

She had a mix of emotions about the U.S. strike on Syria. 

While Samra said she was hopeful that it could bring change to the country she worried about how Assad's reaction, and the reaction of Syria's allies, could impact civilians in the country.

"But then again, hopefully if this is a step toward the removal of Assad then maybe the light at the end of the tunnel will start to become visible," Samra said."I don't know if it's just me desperately wanting (change) but I'm a bit optimistic." 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.