In Raleigh, ex-Syrian refugee wonders what took so long

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Abdullh Khadra told ABC11 that he hopes that the free Syrian army will now be supported.

Abdullh Khadra says he's surprised at the U.S. strike in Syria, and it is shameful the world has been looking the other way for years.

We know President Donald Trump was moved by the images out of Syria after this week's gruesome chemical attack. But Khadra says thousands of civilians are killed all the time, in many ways; so the question is, why now?

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"I was surprised with this decision," said Khadra, a former Syrian refugee who now lives with his family in Raleigh. "We know that half a million Syrians have been killed. Honestly for us as Syrians, it's shameful, why the world is moving now by these chemical weapons that killed hundred civilians but everyday he's killing us with other weapons.

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"Other weapons are OK but chemical are not OK so that's ridiculous for us, and that's shameful on the whole world," he added.

Khadra told ABC11 about being part of peaceful demonstrations in 2011 in Syria and watching friends get killed just for marching for basic human rights.

"We have more than 10,000 people killed under torture and my cousin is one of them, my own cousin is one of them," Khadra said. "We have so many thousands of people in prisons, we don't know anything about them -- my own brother I don't know anything about him.

"Three years, since three years we don't know anything about him so this massacre has been going on for more than five years," he continued.

Now, while he is pleased something sparked a move from the U.S., he says it is not over.

"Every day we see our children are being pulled out from under the demolished houses, this is a daily scene that we see so why they did not move?" Khadra said. "They did not see this all this time but better late than never."

He hopes the free Syrian army will now be supported. And he says they need weapons, specifically anti-aircraft missiles.

"We always hoped and the Syrian people shouted so long time ago that please just give us anti-aircraft, give us anti-aircraft missiles or rockets so that we can stop the murders of the regime who is shelling us each and every day in all the Syrian land," he said.

He believes something more has to happen -- and soon.

There is a vigil planned, Khadra said, for Saturday evening, a chance for Muslims and Christians to come together. It will take place at the Cary mosque.

WATCH: PRESIDENT TRUMP'S STATEMENT ON THE STRIKES ON SYRIA
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President Donald Trump addresses the strikes on Syria.

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