With the new developments in Syria, those with close ties to the country are starting to feel a sense of relief.
Dr. Bassel Salem is a neurologist at Sanford Health, who has worked and studied all over the world. But it's his home country that is his top concern right now.
Dr. Salem has lived in the U.S. for eight years now, but his connection to Syria is still strong. His extended family lives in one of the country's largest cities. And while his relatives haven't dealt with the violence directly, they're still feeling the effects of a war-torn nation.
"I cannot imagine anyone, no matter how closely they follow the news, to get a close idea to what's going on. My family lives in Aleppo, which is the second largest city in the country. We're talking at least three to four million people. And they may go sometimes several days the entire city without electricity or no running water," Salem said.
Salem says Tuesday's announcement that Bashar Assad will hand over chemical weapons sounds like a great thing, but Salem is not completely convinced by the Syrian president's words.
"I mean, I personally don't trust that. And you know we dealt with this for three years. It's just dragging and it could be just to win some time. So, I hope it will be a positive move. I just don't feel it will be," Salem said.
Even though the end of chemical warfare would be a step in the right direction, Salem doubts it will stop the mass killings. Even without chemicals, murder will still be murder, he says.
"They've killed more than 100,000 people with the conventional, traditional weapons. They really don't need chemical weapons to continue. It's just another form of scaring people, but if they lose it, it doesn't mean that it's over," Salem said.
Salem believes the solution to this conflict isn't as clear as it was just one year ago, but he does hope the democratic future his people have dreamed of will become a reality someday.
"The dream was we get a democratic government and elections and just all these things; beautiful things we see in the rest of the world. Now people are not so sure that this will be the case. And actually it's really difficult to predict really what will be the future. With or without an Assad," Salem said.
Salem says he hasn't heard from his family in Syria for five days now, but says cutting off phone lines has been a regular occurrence in the country since fighting began.