U.S.-led military attacks in Syria were focused on the wrong target, some metro Atlanta Syrians said Saturday.
Some said they don’t believe Syrian President Bashar Assad will be dissuaded from continuing to attack and kill his own people by the coordinated strikes that the United States, France and Britian carried out against three chemical-related sites in Syria. The airstrikes were in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that left 49 civilians dead in Douma on April 7.
“I was a little bit disappointed that the airstrikes were very limited and, at the end of the day, the airstrikes were of no significance,” said Basel Allaw, a medical student at Emory University. “It gave Assad, (and Assad allies) Russia and Iran the license to continue to kill as long as they use conventional weapons. In order for airstrikes to be meaningful and of true significance, they have to target Assad and Russian military assets.”
A 35-year-old chef at a Roswell Mediterranean restaurant, who requested that his name be withheld because he has close family still living in Syria, asked, “Why is it not him (Assad)? Why target military bases or places owned by the government. … Assad is no good for the people.”
His boss, Fahad Alamoudi, also believes Assad should have been specifically targeted.
“Why did the U.S. bomb Syria?” said Alamoudi, who is from Yemen but specifically hires Syrian refugees to work at his restaurant, the Shami Kitchen.
Assad is “a criminal,” Alamoudi said. “If you want the Syrian people to get the country back, get him out. … It’s not about the Syrian people. It’s about distraction.”
Like Alamoudi, Nabil Mousa, a Syrian-born artist, believes Trump ordered the airstrike to distract the public’s attention.
“I’m not sure that what they are saying is true,” said Mousa, who has lived in the U.S. since 1978. “I’ve become skeptical what this (U.S.) government puts out, especially right now with President Trump and all that’s happening around him. Anything he can do to send the media in a different direction, that’s what he’s going to do.”
Mousa said the airstrikes will contribute to destabilizing the country at a time when he is hearing from family in Syria that “they are getting back on track.”
“If it means keeping the current regime in place to stabilize (Syria), that’s what needs to be done,” Mousa said. “That’s what the Syrian people want. … Why destabilize things when it’s coming together?”