The U.S. is currently preparing for an intervention in Syria, which is a belated yet significant development. While Bashar Assad's regime has been slaughtering people with more than 220 chemical weapons for years, no one but Turkey could so far raise a clear and determined voice against the regime's atrocities. U.S. President Donald Trump, however, has evidently run out of patience with the most recent attack in Douma.
A press statement he issued on Monday said: "We're the greatest fighting force anywhere in the world ... and we're making a decision as to what we do with respect to the horrible attack that was made near Damascus, and it will be met, and it will be met forcefully.
"We had $700 billion just approved, we had to fix our military and right now we're in a big process of doing that, $700 million and then $716 billion next year. So we're going to make a decision tonight or very shortly thereafter and you'll be hearing the decision.
"But we can't let atrocities like we all witnessed ... especially when we're able to, because of the power of the United States, because of the power of our country, we're able to stop it."
Although he has used discriminatory, Islamophobic and anti-immigration rhetoric since his presidential campaign, Trump's press statement is promising. But rather than preventing the chemical attacks and ending civilian deaths in Syria for humanitarian concerns, the underlying motivation in his statement seems to show U.S. power to the world and give a rough time to Russia, which has been engaging in acts that are reminiscent of the Cold War. But still, the result is what matters.
After this point, I believe that the U.S.'s intervention in Syria is both essential and rightful, just like it did in Bosnia in 1995 and Kosovo in 1999. Following the Bosnian genocide that lasted more than three years and resulted in more than 100,000 civilian deaths, Bosnia was finally relieved in 25 days after the intervention of a NATO force led by the U.S. in August 1995. In Kosovo, NATO initiated an offensive on March 24, 1999 that lasted 78 days thanks to the initiative of the U.S. and liberated the Albanians there. Without those interventions, the blood bath in Bosnia and Kosovo would have been even greater. Consequently, it would be a right step for the U.S. to mobilize NATO and intervene in Syria. Of course, this development would make things tougher for Turkey as much as raising the country's significance since Turkey is the only country that could establish relations with both sides, whereas both sides want to see Turkey on their own side.
For this reason, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday. But Erdoğan is not taking a step back in his strict stance on Assad's atrocities. In addition, since Turkey is a NATO member, the country will send troops to a possible NATO operation led by the U.S. This factor automatically beclouds Turkey-Russia relations. But it is obvious that Ankara's stance is correct, as Assad is no different from Milosevic at this point. And of course, Turkey must abstain from being at odds with Russia at the same time.