Much has been said about Russia's overt intervention in Syria. Moreover, it has been said that the U.S. and Russia agreed on the survival of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime; Iran has come to the fore in the region and Turkey has been sidelined. This argument has delighted some people in the country, as it is coupled with coordinated attacks by Russia, Iran and Assad on Turkmens. Obviously, the objective is to drag Turkey into the war or undermine its power during negotiations. There are other plots as well.
Despite all of these plots, Turkey's conscientious stance and suggestions find credibility in the world. I think Foreign Ministry officials must have followed what televisions aired in the U.S. some time ago. The most interesting debate over Syria was experienced in the U.S. Senate where Republican Senator Lindsey Graham bombarded Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter with questions. Graham did not cite Turkey, but he asked questions similar to Ankara's theses on Syria and put Carter in a tight spot. In response to Graham's question of whether it is smart for the U.S. to stay out of the war and let Russia fight DAESH, Carter said that Russia does not strike DAESH. Astonished by this reply, Graham said: "How do we leverage Assad leaving when Russia is going to fight for him, Iran is going to fight for him, Hezbollah is fighting for him, and we are not going to do a damn thing to help people take him down? So, when [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry goes over to Geneva, he is turning over Syria to the Russians and the Iranians."
Graham asked Carter another interesting question: "Do you see a scenario where we could fight to support an effort to take Assad down? That we will fight alongside of people who want to take Assad down in Syria? Does it have a military component?" Carter gave a short reply: "There are not military components, but only a political effort." After hearing from Carter that the U.S. would not give military support to those fighting Assad, Graham made an interesting statement: "If I am Assad, this is a good day for me, because the American government has just said without saying it that they are not going to fight to replace me. The Russians and the Iranians and Hezbollah, this is a really good day for them ... You have turned Syria over to Russia and Iran. You have told the people in Syria who died about hundreds of thousands that we are more worried about political settlement than we are about what follows. All I can say is this is a sad day for America, and the region will pay hell for this, because the Arabs are not going to accept this. The people in Syria are not going to accept this."And the last word from Graham was: "This is a half-assed strategy at best," which shows that the U.S.'s ambivalent Syrian policy has led to serious debates in itself.