Syrian Americans in New Orleans Praise U.S. Airstrike

Syrian Americans in New Orleans Praise U.S. Airstrike

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Syrian-Americans living in the New Orleans area are praising the president's decision to bomb a Syrian air base.

They say after years of indecisiveness, they appreciate quick retaliation after a chemical attack in which civilians - including children - were killed.

One is an electrical engineer from Syria who has lived in Metairie for the last 30 years, but his heart still hurts over the events at home.

"Arabic nations watched, and nobody paid attention," said  Khaled Zeitoun.

He said he's pleased that President Donald Trump ordered cruise missiles to strike the Syrian military base where chemical weapons were positioned and launched.

"Thanks for him, thanks for Congress, thanks to American people. They have a big heart," he said.

Zeitoun believes the president acted from the heart.

"The tear was in his eyes when he was talking about our children," said Zeitoun.

It was action that's been universally praised by most members of Louisiana's congressional delegation.

"I hope Assad gets the message. If he doesn't, President Trump might go even further," said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La).

For  Zeitoun, this is personal. Zeitoun was told last year that his brother died in a Syrian jail after he was detained while bringing his parents back to their home country. He believes that his brother was killed because of his activities on social media.

"It was painful, and they hit him hard just for me," he said.

Though the U.S. military strike is welcome, Khlaled doesn't believe Syria's president is going anywhere anytime soon.

"Nothing will stop Assad because Putin been supporting him," said Zeitoun.

Military experts agree.

"I don't think it has any great immediate effect. It certainly means the Assad regime will face more hostility from the United States, and that does encourage it's opponents," said Michael Huelshoff with UNO's Political Science Department.

But Zeitoun said if the U.S. creates Syrian no-fly zones, the people of Syria will take care of the rest.

"When Assad goes, Isis goes right away...because they created,"  said Zeitoun.

And he said if given half a chance, Syrian people will gladly take over, clearing the way for thousands of refugees across the world to return to a country they love.

"Now Mr Trump lets us have hope. Yes we want to move our refugees back," said Zeitoun.

Zeitoun also said in spite of all the controversy and the fact that he's an immigrant, he's supportive of the president's desire to limit immigration to keep terrorists out.

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