Syrian-American Student Cautiously Optimistic About US Air Strikes
TULSA, Oklahoma - The history of the al-Assad regime is one of terror and violence, and the US's response to the country using chemical weapons on its own people comes as a sign of hope to some.
The death and destruction in Syria are taking center stage this week.
"You've had this regime torture people and mutilate people who are peaceful protesters,” said Abdulah Mahayni.
Second-generation immigrant Mahayni spent seven years growing up in Syria. Now, he’s a medical student living in Tulsa.
"Life over there was very nice,” he recalled. “It was very amazing."
But he says the last 50 years have been full of tragedy for Syrians.
"I have friends over there who were taken to prison and tortured until they were killed,” said Mahayni.
Those memories he wouldn't wish on his worst enemy.
“I would want you to imagine what it's like to see that and how painful it is to see, not just your neighbors but fellow human beings that this actually happens to people,” he said.
He's not surprised by Assad's chemical attack, saying the government has used chemical weapons for years, only garnering verbal condemnation from the international community.
"[They] decided, 'Well, if no one is going to do anything we might as well just keep using it, and using it, and using it,’” said Mahayni.
He says the US's bombings is a sign of hope that the world will help Syrian's caught in a war zone.
"It's always a relief to see the tools that evil is using, destroyed," he stated.
But he added a show of force alone will not fix Syria's problems or save its people.
"Bombs are never going to solve every single problem in the world,” he said. “Sometimes talks need to be happening."
Mahayni thinks the international community needs to lay out a clear plan to stop tyranny in Syria, and one that all countries follow through with.