Phoenix Muslim community reacts to U.S. airstrikes on Syria

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{Source: U.S. military targets Syrian airbase w- missiles] {Source: U.S. military targets Syrian airbase w- missiles]

It's a story that's rocked the world: images of young children dying after a chemical attack in Syria this week.

President Donald Trump responded Thursday by launching missiles at a Syrian airbase.

The events in the Middle East have had a profound impact on the Valley's Muslim and Syrian communities.

Usama Shami is president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.

He also has family in Syria.

"Regardless of faith, regardless of ethnicity, when you see something like this happening to innocent children - innocent people - regardless of country - people have compassion," said Shami. "They don't like to see that stuff happen."

Usami said there is significant support for what President Trump did, taking a stand against the Syrian government.

Steve Arkawi was born in Syria, but now lives in Paradise Valley.

"All over the Syrian community, people were very happy to see President Trump take action against that brutal regime," said Arkawi. 

According to Arkawi, what's going on in Syria is no different from what happened in Nazi Germany during World War II.

Arkawi hopes the U.S. air strike Thursday night is just the beginning.

"This criminal, Riad al-Asaad, he's worse than Hitler," said Arkawi. "Assad should be stopped one way or another. We're counting on this government to do something to help the Syrian people."

There has also been some criticism of Trump's decision to attack Syria.

Critics worry that the U.S. will be roped into a conflict it can't get out of.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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