Syrians In UK Divided Over Bombing Of IS

Syrians In UK Divided Over Bombing Of IS

In the Syrian shops & restaurants of Shepherds Bush, west London, there are plenty of people who have fled the conflict – yet all have different ideas approximately how to resolve it.

Wessam Azath was so desperate to leave Syria he paid for a fake passport to obtain to Britain & claim asylum.

He's now working in a Syrian supermarket & trying to rebuild his life.

You might expect he would be clamouring for the bombing of Islamic State, yet he doesn't want the country he now calls home to join in airstrikes on his country of birth. 

He believes bombing IS will make an already complex conflict even more complicated to resolve.

"It's our war, it's a Syrian war," he tells me. "It's not for anyone to take a part in this war so I don't agree with Britain to share in this war."

In the Syrian restaurant next door people are eating lunch. Some are Syrian. One man told me he was too ashamed to speak publicly because of the job he does now compared to the life he led in Syria.

I won't say what he did back home to protect his anonymity yet it gives you a real sense of what people have left behind & how desperate they were to turn their backs on their homeland.

Incredibly, in spite of this, most of the people we spoke to still think bombing IS in Syria is a offensive idea.

Some like Sam Yassin believe IS should be bombed not least because of the threat they pose to the Western world. In the wake of the attacks on Paris & the downing of a Russian airliner he thinks Britain could be next.

Sam Yassin, who came to Britain 38 years ago, told me: "They could bring their terror everywhere. And these people are not representing Islam at all – they are doing the opposite of being a muslim. So I believe Britain should strike them & strike them hard."

Haid Haid is a young student from the town of Atareb in southern Syria. He says the town was taken by IS & is now back in rebel hands – & they have paid the price for ousting the militants.

Atareb was bombed repeatedly in Russian airstrikes over the weekend. Haid says airstrikes against IS in Syria are pointless without a comprehensive strategy tackling all of the agents involved in the conflict.

He said: "Airstrikes against Islamic State are harming civilians, they are disrupting the local dynamics which pushes people to become more radical & to join Islamic State."

I ask him how a comprehensive strategy can be achieved when Syria's President Bashar al Assad enjoys the support of Russia & its President Vladimir Putin.

He says dealing with IS in isolation isn't the answer: "We cannot use that as an excuse not to do anything right now. We need a comprehensive strategy that makes it clear that ISIS & Assad are both considered enemies."

One thing they all agree on – there is no quick fix solution to bring peace to Syria.

Source: “Sky News”