US strikes in Syria evoke mixed responses from Syrians in Turkey

We visited Syrian refugees in Hatay and asked them about their thoughts on US intervention in the Syrian conflict.

Photo by: Screenshot/Pentagon Video via YouTube
Photo by: Screenshot/Pentagon Video via YouTube

US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a cruise missile from the Mediterranean Sea into Syria on April 7, 2017.

Updated Apr 8, 2017
Fatima Taskomur Fatima Taskomur is a staff writer at TRT World.

HATAY, Turkey - On Friday morning, the US launched missile strikes in Syria.

It was the first time the US struck a Syrian regime air base since the start of the six-year war.

While some Syrians were ecstatic at the US military response, others have expressed suspicion at the intentions of the global superpower.

Yahya Abu Anas, Vice President of a humanitarian aid organisation in Hatay
Occupation in Syria: teacher

Syrians are happy. Why? Because the regime was hit.

I believe that the US is doing this for peace. And we support it because we support whoever strikes the regime. The US needs to continue with these strikes, and carry out more of them. As a next step, I think that Turkey and the US will cooperate and go into Syria.

And I believe that it is genuine because the US wants to have a say in what happens; the US wants peace. They want to ensure peace so that they, as the ones ensuring the peace, will be able to have a say in what happens in Syria.

Before, Assad was in America’s hands. But now that Russia is standing by Assad, the US doesn’t need him anymore. He stopped doing things that the US wanted.  

Next, I think that the US will get rid of Assad, and put a leader in place that will heed the US’s orders.

Generally speaking, besides Turkey, we don’t want any other country to intervene in Syria. Turkey can strike. Now, as for the US, it will want to dominate, and yes, we have reason to fear this, but the thing is that we are most afraid of Assad. He is the most despotic one. The US is less cruel compared to him.


Wael Jaza with his family and the family of his older brother who was killed in the war. (TRT World)

Wael Jaza, 50, painter
Occupation in Syria: School principal

I think with these strikes, the situation might escalate. We want peace in our homeland so we can return. I don’t want the opposition to form a separate state.

As for the the US’s actions, I don’t find the US strikes to be sincere. There is something behind this. This is an attack to divide Syria. The US is striking to split the country.

This morning for instance, we heard the US hit the opposition. At night it hits one, but in the morning, it goes and bombs the other side and civilians. That’s why I don’t find it genuine. Now, just as Russia struck a deal with Assad to get its share, the US took such an initiative to be able to form a Kurdish state.

Assad worked with the US and Russia. His end will be like Gaddafi’s end. Someone who assaults his own people will have an end like that.

Hanati Afisi, 45, School administrator
Occupation in Syria: Lawyer

This strikes weren't for us. This wasn’t a solution, and it wasn’t for us anyway. The strikes were for the US. Assad had told Obama before that he didn’t have chemical weapons, but now look. This bombing is just for US interests, and nothing will change in Syria. They made a show of it for the Syrian people, but nothing new will happen, this is my personal opinion.

They are doing this now because there has never been as despotic a regime as there is now. If they were really doing this for us, the people, they should have taken action a long time ago. Before, when Obama was in power, Assad had said that he didn’t have chemical weapons. He had said this, but Assad hit us with chemical weapons. There isn’t a difference between Trump and Obama. They’re the same. They’re doing this for their own interests.

I want to tell the world that someone should take initiative to solve this issue. Enough is enough. We’re sick and tired of seeing blood.

Abdel Qadir Bakiyya, 46, bazaar salesman
Occupation in Syria: Hotel worker

Some people are happy, but they need to know that the planes that were hit were Syrian planes. They are the planes of our soldiers, how can I be happy about this?

It’s really not clear who is hitting who here. Everyone is striking something in Syria. Now, everyone says that the chemical attack was from Russia. If you ask me, it could have been the US as well. It could have been done under their instruction too. When the body is weak, anyone can hit it. That’s how Syria is right now - it’s weak and everyone is hitting it.

No matter what anyone does, it’s never for the Syrian people, it’s always for the different parties. Nothing is for the people. So you’re asking me now, what I think about this, but it did nothing for me.

Not one side in Syria wants peace. If they really wanted peace, everything would have been over in a month. Just one month. They have different interests.

I don’t know what they want to do to all the Muslims there, but may Allah protect our children, because we don’t know who is doing what. We were happy in Syria. We were happy when we were living there, but now, no one is happy with the situation. May God protect all Muslims.

Muhammed Yusuf Seyyidali (L), 20, works in a furniture store

The US serves those who are against Islam. The US did this as a display of power. To show that it was there, to show that it had a presence there. 'Look at me, I hit them because they used chemical weapons', that’s what they want to say.

Before, there were US strikes in Idlib, where I’m from, and they hit innocent people, my aunt, her husband and their children were killed because of this. Then the US said that it was there because Nusra Front was there, but that wasn’t the case. And all of this happens only to Muslims.

Yes, the US conducted strikes. But before, they gave instructions to empty the area. They basically hit an empty place. Today, the Russians said that nothing of importance was hit. They said that they had cleared the area ahead of time, and that the planes that were hit were already defective. It was an empty attack.

And with this, nothing is going to happen, nothing will change. We will continue to kill each other.

The US hit Assad’s planes today, and tomorrow they will hit us.

We don’t have Daesh in Idlib, we don’t have Nusra there. Why are they striking us?

As long as Assad or one of his men are there, we can’t return to Syria. They will kill us if we do. But if the war ends, I want to return.

Everyone’s homeland is the most beautiful for them.

Muhammed Ali, 32, English teacher

These strikes will not achieve anything for the Syrian people. I think that the US strikes against Assad’s air force is just a game, and it will not achieve anything for Syrian people because all of the world wants to share the cake of Syria.

Of course some people will be happy because this strike will be a warning for the Assad regime to stop the crisis and the crimes against the Syrian people, but it will appear that Trump is a member of this war.

The Syrian people want the world to help us, to stop this war, and all of us want to return to our country.

Iman Ghanem, 47, Hairdresser

I don’t believe that the US did such a strike, do you? The US is the root of all of these problems. All of these problems came from the outside. May God help us. They want there to be more problems.

No, I don’t believe the US did such a thing.  If the US really wanted to do something about chemical weapons, they would have done other things. The US will strike Assad for a little bit today, then they will strike the other side.

That’s how the US works, I don’t even know why you’re asking me this. As the people, we don’t know why this happened. We didn’t want it to happen this way. We’ve lost everything we had in Syria.

Source: 
TRTWorld