Syrian immigrants in NYC react to the horrific violence in their homeland

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Brooklyn (PIX11) – George Kadaour moved to Brooklyn from Homs, Syria about a year ago—taking a job at Sahadi Importing on Atlantic Avenue.  He doesn’t accept the images he’s been seeing on social media and television: hundreds of dead Syrian children and babies, possibly killed by poison-gas rockets.  The government of President Bashar al Assad is getting  blame for the mass killings, but Kadaour remains loyal to the Syrian government and blames outside forces.

“They come from all over the Middle East, outside of Syria,” Kadaour said to PIX 11.  “They are something like they call ‘jihad.’”

The pictures flooding the Internet and TV are horrendous.  Young people are shown foaming at the mouth, with the pupils in their eyes constricted.  These are tell-tale symptoms of exposure to deadly nerve agents.  There are no obvious signs of bodily injury.  The incidents near Damascus, Syria happened about 3 a.m. Wednesday morning in neighborhoods where opponents to the Assad government live with their families.

More than 1,300 Syrians are reported dead in the attack, which could be the worst in the world since the late, Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, murdered thousands of Kurds in the late 1980’s.

The White House, in the past, has been cautious in its reactions to what’s happening in Syria’s Civil War.  In 2012, President Barack Obama said if President Assad used chemical weapons, that would be crossing a “red line”.

Arab-Americans watching television in the cafes lining Atlantic Avenue were very disturbed about what’s happening now.

“Everything happening over there is real,” said Sahel Sulaiman, who was born in Yemen.  “Kids are dying left and right.  Chemical weapons are being used.”

Another man, Fathal Alzokari, said, “I’m Arabic.  I see this, and I feel embarrassed.  It can happen to me.  It can happen to anyone.”  Regarding the political situation, he said, “Everybody is trying to be better than the other.  Everybody trying to be a king! What do the kids got to do with all this?  They die!”

UNICEF, the United Nations agency founded to protect children, issued a statement Thursday, “Such horrific acts should be a reminder to all the parties and all who have influence on them that this terrible conflict has gone on far too long and children have suffered more than enough.”

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