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Local Syrian human rights activist gives reaction to this weekend's airstrikes

Local Syrian gives reaction to this weekend's airstrikes. // WSBT 22 photo

As government leaders and people all around the world continue to keep watch on the situation in Syria, the missile attacks by the U.S. and its Allies on Syria that started on Friday night ended by early Saturday morning.

Now the Trump administration plans to impose new sanctions against Russia Monday as punishment for enabling Syria's use of chemical weapons.

So how is this playing with people here in the Midwest?

WSBT 22 talked to a Notre Dame student from Syria who says Syrians are also divided on the issue.

Jude Ash is a Syrian human rights activist.

One thing all Syrians want is peace, but how to get there is unclear.

This April and last April, the U.S. launched airstrikes against Syria after Assad's suspected chemical attacks on his own people

Ash is a Notre Dame graduate student who is very familiar with the violence in Syria.

He says he was arrested and tortured in Syria before being exiled in 2011 for his part in the nonviolent resistance movement.

"It is a little bit frustrating that the West only seems to remember Syria when things like chemical weapons come up. This is not enough and there are much more atrocious things happening in Syria. Let's talk about the weapons of mass destruction of torture. The torture that I’ve experienced and my friends have experienced. This is much more horrible than a chemical attack. As horrible as it sounds, it is true,” said Ash.

Across the country, including in Chicago, crowds took to the streets to protest Trump's decision to once again get involved.

But Ash says he believes President Trump's airstrikes are a step in the right direction.

He just thinks more needs to be done.

"What we need is a collective and systematic effort to solve the core of the issue. No peace will be before we have a path towards democracy, a path towards accountability. What we really need is an effort to bring an end to this crisis. If possible, in peaceful ways. The last thing Syrians need is more war, but sometimes such actions are inevitable,” said Ash.

Ash says Syrian's opinions on the airstrike depend on where they are from within Syria and their allegiance to the Assad regime.

He is working toward his PHD in peace studies and clinical psychology at Notre Dame.

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