NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — This week has been especially tough for Syrian refugees in Connecticut, as they watch images from their war-torn homeland. News 8 spoke with Hiatham Dalati, a grandfather who just arrived in New Haven this year with his wife. His daughter and five grandchildren remain stuck in a Lebanese refugee camp.
“It’s really hurting of course, really hurting,” Dalati said. “Can’t describe it. From my heart inside, I was crying. Seeing the children. One father carrying his two children by his hands.”
Dalati was referring to the apparent chemical attack on civilians Tuesday in Syria. An airbase just miles from his hometown of Homs, was struck by American missiles Thursday in response. Dalati approves of the attack, and hopes the United States does more to topple the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
“Because they are killing the children, the old people, I support it,” Dalati said. “Whether it’s from America or other country.”
Dalati fled the violence two years into the Syrian Civil War. He arrived to New Haven in February with his wife, after spending almost five years in a Lebanese refugee camp.
“Horrible violence,” said Chris George, director of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services. “That has led to five million Syrians fleeing their country and becoming refugees.”
George runs the refugee resettlement program IRIS. He’s hoping the images of suffering civilians will encourage President Trump to allow more Syrian refugees entrance to the U.S.
As for Dalati, he said coming to America was something he always wanted. But not under these circumstances.
“I’m so grateful,” Dalati said. “I’m looking for a country to live. I have no country. Really. I lost my country. Don’t know what it is now.”
IRIS has helped settle 366 Syrian refugees in Connecticut so far. Over five million Syrians are now refugees, and over half-a-million people have died in the war.