DOHA: Qatar is home to a large number of Syrian expatriates and apparently many are tacit supporters of the rebels in their country, but few favour an attack by the US that is namesake and wouldn’t uproot the present regime.
Few in the community, however, doubt that it was the Bahsar Al Assad regime that used chemical weapons near Damascus recently that killed a number of innocent people.
“I don’t see any benefit of the US attack because President Barack Obama has himself said it would be a minor assault, so what’s the point?” said a Syrian, asking not to be named for fear of reprisal from the Assad government.
The Syrian, who works in a listed company and lives here with wife and children, hasn’t been to his home town of Al Bara in northwestern Syria for three years.
“I haven’t been home since the crisis began but I am in touch with my parents, siblings and other relatives on phone who are there,” he told The Peninsula yesterday.
There is no benefit for Syrians if a US strike is not going to end the simmering crisis in the country which is turning worse by the day, he added.
Rough estimates suggest there may be about 40,000 Syrians in Qatar, most of them with their families and employed in various sectors, including education.
Another Syrian expatriate, echoing similar sentiments, said any foreign intervention that doesn’t see the Assad regime overthrown would be pointless.
“Moreover, such an assault would mean that more innocent lives would be lost and our key infrastructure, like roads and factories, would be destroyed,” said the expatriate, who comes from Aleppo, the worst-hit Syrian city.
He, like his compatriot quoted earlier, insisted that his name should not appear in print or he could be in trouble.
However, a Syrian woman, also speaking on condition of anonymity, insisted that it was a highly sensitive issue and said she would favour a US attack only to see her country free of weapons of mass destruction.
“This is the only reason I favour a foreign military strike. I would like to see my country free of any chemical weapons,” said the woman, from the city of Idlib.
Another woman, from the city of Hama, said she favoured a US military strike.
“We have nothing to lose. We have already lost so many lives and our economy is shattered. So a further assault wouldn’t cause any further damage.”
The woman, though, added the US action was belated and felt that it should have been taken at least two years ago.