Local activists react to U.S. military strikes in Syria

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Local activists jumped into action Thursday as word spread of U.S. air strikes in Syria.

Sarah Syed, the 26-year-old community organizer behind a Sunday candlelight vigil slated for Bagby Park at 7 p.m. said she felt whipsawed by the president.

“To me, I feel like President Trump is playing both sides. I feel like this is something that he originally did not endorse,” she said. “That was my first thought. My second thought was what is the next step, how is Russia going to react to this?”

A Muslim daughter of two immigrants, Syed worked in refugee camps in Greece last year, which is what prompted her to put together Sunday’s event. “I wish we could do more from here,” she said.

Shireen Jasser, 32 a member of the Syrian American Council-Houston Chapter,

said she is pleased that Trump used military force.

“The chemical attacks that have been happening against civilians, women and children is horrifying and completely violating international law and human rights,”said Jasser, who has lived in the U.S. for 7 years.

“We welcome President Trump taking military action against Assad military targets,” she said. “We’re glad that someone is looking out for these innocent women and children.”

David Michael Smith, a local activist, was moved to organize a protest on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. outside the Galleria.

“I’m angered and disgusted by Trump bombing Syria,” he said, questioning the president’s motives.

“More than one observer will question whether Trump is striking out against the Syrians and their Russian supporters to change the conversation, to move it away from Trump’s ties to Russia.”

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