KANSAS CITY -- Syrians in Kansas City are applauding the U.S. military strike Thursday, launched after a chemical weapons attack killed dozens of civilians in their native land.
In the last year, nearly 30 Syrian refugee families have resettled in the metro area, and Syrian-Americans such as Fariz Turkmani have been instrumental in helping them adapt to their new lives.
Turkmani says he's watched in horror as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed thousands of his own people with chemical weapons while President Obama was in power, and he says nothing was done.
Turkmani has two sisters living in Aleppo and feared for their safety.
But now he says he's more optimistic, calling President Trump his hero.
"The way it was done before, where nothing was done, put us in more jeopardy because people think of us as weak now," said Turkmani, an Overland Park, Kan., businessman. "But now people think of us as okay, now we are back into the front seat, rather than standing there and watching everybody do whatever they wanted there. We are the leaders of the world and we should stay the leaders of the world."
Turkmani says Assad has had military support from Russia and Iran during the Syrian civil war, while rebels and innocent families caught in the cross fire have had no one standing up for them. 500,000 people already have died in fighting in Syria.
Turkmani says U.S. intervention should not include boots on the ground. He supports the idea of America enforcing a no fly zone over Syria, saying that would do the most good to help protect civilians from indiscriminate bombing.