Syrian refugees now living in Connecticut are keeping a close eye on home following the deadly chemical attack there earlier this week.
The most recent events have put Syria in the spotlight. But refugees in Connecticut and those helping to resettle them said sadly it’s a humanitarian crisis and a war that’s been going on for years.
"I was really fortunate to come to America,” Syrian Refugee Haitham said. “It’s a dream for everybody."For Haitham, New Haven is now home. But, Syria will always have a place in his heart.
"It’s not too easy to be far from your home,” Haitham said.
Haitham and his wife resettled her back in February, but this week's chemical attack in Syria, sent a deeper shiver through him, than any frost he felt this winter.
"To see a child, an old man, breathe and die, it’s not so easy,” Haitham said. In response to the chemical attack that killed more than 100 people, the United States launched nearly 60 tomahawk cruise missiles, targeting an airfield on Thursday night, which is not too far from where Haitham lived.
"It’s very raw. It’s very fresh,” Chris George, who is the executive director at Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services said. “Now Americans maybe some of their eyes have been open up recently by this suffering."
George said over the past few years, the New Haven-based nonprofit has helped resettle roughly 400 Syrians in Connecticut.
"It’s been tough for them, and we're trying to reassure them we're doing all we can to urge the government to increase the number of Syrian refugees we bring to this country,” George said.
Haitham said he's grateful for the warm welcome he's received in Connecticut. He added that he's thankful for the United States’ response on Thursday night. Haitham said he'd support any country that would do something to stop Syria’s government and its president. But with family over there, Haitham said he's nervous.
"What happened yesterday is good,” Haitham said. “But at the same time it's fearful, because America and Russia might face together in Syria."
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