Largest and Oldest Syrian American Group Thanks Trump

Only hours after the American military — together
with British and French forces — struck facilities related to chemical weapons manufacture,
storage and deployment in Syria, the nation’s largest Syrian-American group thanked President
Trump for his decision to hit the Assad regime. According to Fox News, the Washington-based
Syrian American Council said in a statement that the Assad regime needed to be held to
account for violations of international law by using chemical weapons on its own people. “We send our sincere thanks to the administration
for holding Assad accountable for Sunday’s chemical attack in Douma, and the crimes against
humanity over the past seven years of the Syrian war,” the statement from the SAC
read. “We urge President Trump and the coalition
to sustain the strikes and to ground Assad’s air force, creating a No-Fly Zone and thereby
disabling the Assad regime’s ability to commit further war crimes and mass atrocities,”
the statement continued. In addition to committing war crimes like
last wknd’s chemical weapons attack, #Assad is issuing legislation that sends a clear
message to #Syria|ns that they are not to return to their country, furthering a policy
of demographic change. From @maitelsadany. — Syrian American Cncl (@sa_council) April
12, 2018 The SAC added that by Trump’s decision to
act, they saw a “genuine opportunity” to end the Syrian civil war, which has been
going on since March of 2011. The SAC also noted that the Assad regime had
used chemical weapons, cluster munitions and barrel bombs “to target and kill civilians”
in the course of the war. The Syrian-American Council has taken a strong
stand against the Assad regime; in a statement on their website, they call the civil war
“an uprising against more than 50 years of suffocating dictatorship under the Assad
regime that squelched all forms of free speech, civil society and political expression.” “Since February 2012, when Assad regime
bombardment of civilian neighborhoods began in earnest, Assad’s forces have slaughtered
more civilians than any other armed group in the world, including ISIS,” the statement
reads. “Reporting is not completely accurate, and
numbers are almost certainly higher, but since the uprising began in 2011, at least 200,000
people are estimated have been killed. This is the equivalent of Akron, OH, Salt Lake
City, UT or Knoxville, TN being wiped out. Half of these people are believed to be civilians.” In their statement Friday, the SAC also urged
the Trump administration to work with rebel groups to “empower them to collaborate with
the United States and other international governments to fight terrorism and terrorist
factions in Syria.” This seems somewhat unlikely, as Defense Secretary
James Mattis insisted the attack was a “one-time shot” and the Trump administration has indicated
an unwillingness to get involved more deeply in the conflict. The council also remains “optimistic”
that allied forces will “remove Assad, put an end to the slaughter, and bring about peace,
freedom, and democracy in Syria.” SAC members all over the country were supportive,
too. In Phoenix, Arizona, Steve Arkaw — president of the local Phoenix chapter of the SAC — told
KSAZ-TV that he was ecstatic over the decision. “Oh my God, thank you, thank you, thank
you President Trump. What you did. It was heroic. It was excellent,” said Arkaw, who
left the country when Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafiz al-Assad, ruled the country. While the SAC celebrated the raid, another
group — the Syrian-American Forum, which supports Assad’s regime — condemned the
Trump administration’s actions and warned them to stay out of Syria. “We don’t think that killing more innocent
people in Syria by bombing them will rectify what has happened, whether it was done by
the Assad regime or not,” Ghias Moussa, head of the New York and New Jersey chapters
of SAF, told USA Today. “Americans should not change regimes around
the world to get somebody we like and fight people we don’t like.”

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