Jacksonville-area Syrian-American supports strike

Native Syrian says it's the right thing to do

Author: Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Published On: Sep 07 2013 11:00:21 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 08 2013 12:43:08 AM EDT
Fadi Shakour
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A possible military strike in Syria has gained heavy opposition from Jacksonville's Syrian community. But one Syrian-American is in favor of it.

Fadi Shakour is a native Syrian and said it's the right thing to do.

Shakour was born and raised in Damascus, but has lived in the U.S. for 15 years. He believes Assad is responsible for the chemical attack and says it's unacceptable.

"America is the most powerful country on the face of this planet, and we shouldn't forget that," said Shakour. "I'm hoping that a strike would be the straw that breaks the camel's back and gets rid of this murderous regime once and for all."

Shakour still has extended family living in Damascus and said the Assad regime is the only entity with access to chemical weapons. He believes the government was behind last month's attack that killed more than 1,400 people, hundreds of which were children.

"I've seen videos of little children, 2, 3, 4-year-old children, not able to breathe. Not because there was no air but because their little breathing muscles were paralyzed by Assad's gases," Shakour said.

But even with his vocal stance on the issue, he admits he has some real fears about retaliation for speaking his mind.

"That fear is always in the back of my mind, but I'm not going to let that fear control my thoughts and control what I say," said Shakour. "I'm in a free country, and I'm going to say whatever I feel is true."

With no way to know when or how Congress will vote, Shakour said he appreciates both sides of the debate but remains certain he's not alone.

"It is the majority of the Syrian people in Syria and abroad that are all with the strike. They want the strike to occur," said Shakour. "These are the silent majority."