CHICAGO (CBS) – There was a show of support for Syrian leader Bashar Al Asad in Damascus today as hundreds of protestors saluted the country’s armed forces, claiming Syrian air defenses intercepted most of the missiles fired by the west over the weekend. President Donald Trump said not one was intercepted.
Rehab Alkhadi is a Syrian American living in Chicago. She and her husband were in Syria during a chemical attack in 2013. “I still remember that day the cloud was black and the people were choking by the chemical attack,” explains Alkhadi.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: More Than 3 Million Residents Fully Vaccinated, But Cases And Hospitalizations Still Up Significantly Over Past Month
After the most recent attack in Douma that killed about 75 people, Alkhadi rushed to contact relatives still living in Syria, who told her the situation is terrible.
Alkhadi is one of about 180 Syrian families living in Chicago. Many refugee families are aided by the Syrian Action Network.READ MORE: Preparation Work Begins In Jackson Park Ahead Of Fall Groundbreaking For Obama Presidential Center
“We were happy in the beginning when we heard that President Trump was going to take action,” says Suzanne Sahloul from the Syrian Action Network.
Sahloul believes it shouldn’t take chemical warfare to warrant help from the West. “We should never forget that there’s conventional weapons being used every day that’s killing Syrians,” explains Sahloul. She thinks the Trump Administration lacks a clear strategy for the region and doubts the recent airstrikes will bring much change.MORE NEWS: Bell-Ringing Ceremony Honors Chicago Firefighter Edward Singleton
“It definitely falls short. It’s just a slap on the wrist and no one is there to help or protect the Syrian people,” says Sahloul. She says at least there’s a silver lining: the situation in Syria is back on the front page and people are reaching out to ask how they can help.