Tampa Bay reaction mixed over U.S. missile strike in Syria

- Reactions are mixed on President Donald Trump's air strike in Syria on Thursday.

A protest against the move was held in Ybor City on Friday.  Activists marched through the streets shouting their disapproval of the president and speaking out against the potential for war in Syria.

Many of the nearly 30 protesters were the same people who marched through the streets earlier this year in respond to President Trump's travel ban, preventing Syrian refugees from entering the country.

"The president was not willing to offer asylum to Syrian residents. Now we're bombing Syria. As American citizens, we'd like to know what changed, and why weren't we willing to offer humanitarian efforts to Syrian citizens at that time, but we're willing to bomb them now?" questioned protest organizer Donna Davis.

Missing from the crowd on Friday were members of the local Syrian community.  Some people with ties to the country said they applaud the President's actions.

"We're getting reports everyday that there are people who are dying under torture. The regime needs to be dealt with by force. That's the only language that this regime understands," said Saleh Mubarak, a Syrian-born American.

Mubarak's older sister and several other family members still lie in Damascus, Syria. He said he hears first hand from his relatives about the inhumane conditions for Syrian citizens.

"They're suffering, because they get electricity maybe only two or three hours a day, running water maybe only one or two days a week, and even then, a couple of hours only," said Mubarak.

Mubarak said he and others in the local Syrian community were saddened to learn of the gas attack by the Bashar Assad regime earlier this week that killed about 70 Syrians, including women and children.

He said to see real change, like democracy, for Syrian people living in the country, it' going to take continued intervention by the United States.

"This step is not going to kill the head of the snake. It's going to injure that beast or snake, and we need to follow with other diplomatic and military actions," said Mubarak.
 

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