Author: Stephen Naysmith
Munir Emkidah is a Syrian refugee and former human rights activist who fled to the UK after war broke out in 2012.
His family escaped soon afterwards, first to Jordan and he was later reunited with them in Glasgow four years ago. However, his mother, brother and sister are still living in southern Syria. He says action from the West is overdue.
“These strikes are very very late. The regime has used chemical weapons several times, not just in the Khan Shaykhun attack that has been covered in the media, but others nobody heard about,” he said.
“My mother, brother and sister are all living in the south of Syria in an area under opposition control close to Israel and Jordan.
“The people there are under siege from Assad and the terrorist groups like Hezbollah. They are killing people and after the attack in Douma in the south last week, they were terrified the regime would use chemical weapons against them too.
“I have heard from my sister with texts and when they can get use of the internet and they are fine at the moment.
“Even though they are late, the airstrikes are welcome because they send a very strong message to the Assad regime that they can’t use chemical weapons any more. Civilian people have to be protected from the regime.
“But there are other kids of weapons. We need to end this war and bring the regime to peace talks in Geneva, so that the people of Syria can be free.Will the airstrikes do that? I am worried. We need to remove the regime to create normal life, democracy and freedom, but because the regime is backed by Iran and Russia and because Assad thinks he has won the war, why go to peace talks?
“Until Russian involvement this was only going in one direction but now I don’t know.
I do know that when evil people do these things, particularly killing civilians. the whole world is responsible.”