FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – When Sam Jarjour first heard about the U.S. strike on a Syrian airbase his heart sank.
“Then I thought to what avail, what purpose does this serve,” Jarjour said.
“Initial thought is confusion honestly,” Ahmed Abdelmageed said.
Jarjour and Abdelmageed both sit on the board for the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace. Both think the strike was haphazard that sought no long term solution even as the U.S.’s allies are supporting the strike.
“It has to be a whole lot more calculated,” Abdelmageed said. “Yes I’d like it to be resolved tomorrow. Yes I would have liked the killing to have stopped six years ago.”
“If you remove [Syrian President] Assad from power today the vacuum that would be created in my opinion would be worse than what’s occurring in Iraq,” Jarjour said. “It would magnify the refugee crisis. There’s no government ready to step in.”
Jarjour is the son of Syrian immigrants. He still has family in Syria. Some have fled as refugees since the conflict started. His sister-in-law’s family is from a town close to the airbase targeted in the strike.
“She has three brothers who are doctors who work the front lines,” Jarjour said. “The situations I’ve heard from them are just horrific. They can’t sleep from what they see and witness.”
Jarjour hasn’t spoken to family in Syria since the strike. To him it’s not a serious attempt to solve the conflict. He wants to see a serious effort in diplomacy first.
“I think if the international community had the will we would convene a conference that would compel a solution and not worry about this advantage or that advantage,” Jarjour said. “We’d worry about a long term workable solution.”
Jarjour and his family also question the motive of the chemical attack on Syrian civilians that prompted the strike. Some believe it was the rebels not President Bashar Al-Assad behind it.