OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Syrian-Americans in the metro are following overseas events closely after U.S. airstrikes in Syria targeted Islamic State militants.
Syrian immigrants have long advocated for the United States to take more forceful action against the Assad regime. Now, some say allied bombings against Islamic State militants are coming too late to help civilians in the war zone.
Fariz Turkmani came to this country 35 years ago from Syria. He now owns Tess Limousine and Airport Service in Overland Park.
Turkmani spends a lot of time monitoring the civil war that's been raging in Syria for the last four years. He has two sisters living in Alleppo, Syria's second largest city, in an area controlled by President Assad.
As long as the allies target the Islamic State, Turkmani says he's no more concerned about his family's safety than he already has been. He believes they're in more danger from islamic militants or Assad's army.
"One of my brother-in-laws, the building he lived in is all gone," Turkmani said. "He was able to grab his wife and kids and run away with them, with the clothes on his back. My sister-in-law with her family, the building next to her was attacked, hit by a missile. Another building next to her was hit by a missile. Windows are shattered, broken in her condo. Doors are broken in her condo because of the blast and sound and all that. Where would she go? She has no place else to go."
Turkmani owns two condos in Damascus. But he admits that he's not sure they're still standing, with all the destruction. He does believe President Assad helped create the Islamic State, and he says the United States shouldn't stop at just eliminating ISIS, but also ensure that Assad is removed from power, because thousands have died at his hands in Syria.
Others want the United States to stay out of the Syrian conflict. They believe bombing will only result in more suffering and create more enemies for America.