SEATTLE - The coordinated missile strikes into Syria on Friday by the U.S, French and British forces sparked apprehension and anxiousness for Hazim Mohaisen, a Syrian-American living in Seattle.
"The question that came to mind is what’s the plan, why are we doing this, what’s the endgame,” said Mohaisen.
Mohaisen is from Ghouta, Syria, a city on the outskirts of Damascus. He came to the United States 20 years ago after moving to England, then Canada and finally to Seattle. Mohaisen currently work at Microsoft and is one of the founders of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, MAPS. He regularly helps Syrian refugees resettle to American life in Seattle.
Much of his friends and family still live in Syria including a friend in Duma where the latest chemical attack happened.
"I called him. He said he just lost his niece, and her husband and their two children to the last chemical attack in Duma. It was horrifying," said Mohaisen.
Mohaisen calls life under the regime brutal and Assad as a calculated, knifing dictator.
"He makes Stalin look like a cute little girl, the guy [Assad] is ruthless,” said Mohaisen.
Echoing his words is fellow Syrian, Malak Shalabi, a 21-year-old law student who last visited Syria in 2011.
"There needs to be an end to the regime. And that was the whole call of the revolution, the people want the downfall of the regime,” said Shalabi.
Shalabi says she is in support of the missile strikes but says the international response to the Syrian civil war has been weak.
"The international community says they prioritize human rights, the sanctity of human life, how are you guys doing that when you’re watching us being killed, we’ve live streamed a genocide for seven years,” said Shalabi.
They say many Americans see Syria as a country far away, where a lot of fighting happens. Mohaisen and Shalabi say democracy in Syria is in the best interest of everyone.
"The result of this dictator is ISIS, which is a mutation of Al Qaeda, the question we need to ask ourselves is the next mutation, how evil will that be?” questioned Mohaisen.
Mohaisen says Syrian’s see how people live in the west by the images on social media and television and want to same freedoms of speech and liberty. Mohaisen says confidently that he believes his country will see those freedoms one day, but it’s the cost that pains him.
“It’s never too little too late, if you save a five-year-old from being killed, it’s never too late. We can lower the cost, we can reduce the cost and that’s our duty as human beings. We cannot let these chemical attacks happen. It is very important for us to understand that we have a duty as human beings to each other.” said Mohaisen.