Local Syrian Refugee Calls US Airstrikes Show of Missiles - NBC Southern California

Local Syrian Refugee Calls US Airstrikes Show of Missiles

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Syrian Refugee Says Attack on Syria was Too Little, Too Late

    NBC 7's Robert Santos talks to Mustafa Dib, who disagrees with the president and the Pentagon that the attacks accomplished anything. (Published Saturday, April 14, 2018)

    Mustafa Dib has been living in San Diego for the last three years, but he's from the same town as Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad - something he doesn't tout. 

    Dib is dubious of President Trump’s declaration Saturday that the weekend airstrikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected deadly chemical weapons attack against its own people is “mission accomplished.” He believes the airstrikes will only embolden the country’s leader.

    “Only it's a show about his missiles,” Dib told NBC 7. “It's a message for Russia. It's nothing about Syrian people.”

    The airstrikes were in collaboration with France and the United Kingdom. They joined the U.S. in launching more than 100 missiles by sea and air and targeted what the U.S. says were three chemical weapons storage and research facilities near Damascus.

    “He bombed empty locations,” he said. “Nothing that will affect Assad. Nothing to help the Syrian people.”

    Dib wants world leaders to think twice about launching any more strikes, saying it's doing more harm than good. “Nobody cares about the civilian people, about the children,” he said.

    The Pentagon said it is not aware of any civilian casualties as a result of the strikes.

    Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Director of the Joint Staff used three words to describe the operation: "precise, overwhelming and effective."

    An independent chemical weapons watchdog group has arrived in Syria to determine whether the attack last weekend really did take place - something Assad and his key ally Russia have denied.

    Dib said many of his relatives are in prison in Syria so he has no plans to return any time soon.