NEW PHASE OF THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR: AMERICAN INTERVENTION




İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO- It has been asserted that Assad regime used chemical weapons on civilians and killed 86 people, most of whom were children.

Following the event, Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the responsibility and stated that the army “has not and will not use chemical weapons against our people or terrorists.

Previously, regime used sarin gas against opponents near Damascus, in 2013. As a result of the international pressure, Assad regime accepted to give all of its chemical weapons to a third party watchdog. Nevertheless, diverse opposition groups continuously accused the regime of keeping some of its arsenal.

Recently, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), an international medical charity, indicated that they found  evidence to the use of both chlorine and sarin gasses on victims.

In the dawn, USA launched a  59 Tomahawk misile from a warship in eastern Mediterranean to Syria’s Sharyat military base. It has been alleged that regime used this base for the chemical attack.

While all of these critical events were happening, everybody was concerned about Russian response to the news. Before the attack, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman of Kremlin told to Associated Press that Russian support to the regime is not unlimited. Right after the attack, during his phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, Russian President Vladimir Putin argued in that it was wrong to engage in military attempts as the investigation has not been ended yet. Moreover, Russian authorities announced that they suspended the agreement on exchanging information with USA about their flights over the skies of Syria in order to prevent  to incidents in the crowded airspace and called United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to debate the issue. Furthermore, it has been denounced that a Russian warship in the Black sea, named 'Nikolai Filchenkov', start out its route to Syrian shores, through Bosporus.

There is no more dangerous concept as ‘’ Responsibility to Protect’’ in the whole international relations .According to the theory, there should be a just cause and right intention to act, it should be done as  the last resort and by the right authority, it should bring more benefit than harm ( proportionality) and there must be a reasonable chance of success in halting or averting the loss of life or ethnic cleansing in order to justify the intervention (reasonable prospects). What isproblematic here is: each state has its own perspective to look through an event and certain method of responding it. Like Mrs. Haley, US Ambassador to UN asked as ‘’how many children must die to react it?’’. It is a question that intersects with state interests and changeable. For former American President, Barack Obama, hundreds of dead were not enough to engage in military operation but 80’s are enough to persuade Trump for doing something.

Another problem that we face in these kind of situation is rivalry between the Permanent 5 and their backing to the other states. UNSC is far away from fairness. That is why Mrs. Haley tacitly pointed multilateralism on decision making rather than obeying the rules and going to the UNSC. On the other hand, what Trump said in the joint press conference with King Abdullah of Jordan  on Wednesday, as ‘’ ı have responsibility to react’’, are very controversial too. Can we be democratic about the issue? Can we count neutral votes of states on American jurisdiction to react on everything happening in the World?

Therefore, R2P is a very dangerous and problematic issue.  It is the most significant dilemma of the time, even more insoluble than MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). We saw the bad examples of it in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hopefully, Syria would not be another stronghold for terror and became safe tolive in happily and healthy.