most commentators have focused on the reasons and consequences of the U.S.,
British, and French missile strikes on targets in Syria, very few realize that
Turkey is the biggest loser as the result of this attack.
ago, when Pres. Trump announced that the United States would “very soon,”
withdraw its soldiers from Northern Syria, the Turkish government was elated.
Turkey’s invasion of Afrin was intended to expand the occupation to Manbij and
the entire Northern Syria to dislodge Kurdish fighters from that region. The
only obstacle standing in the way of the Turkish troops was the U.S. military
which has over 2,000 soldiers in the Manbij area. Repeated Turkish threats to
attack the American troops did not scare the U.S. Commanders who stood
steadfast in their defense of the local Kurdish population.
two weeks, Pres. Trump reversed his position on the immediate withdrawal of
U.S. troops from Syria. The latest reports from Washington and Paris state that
the Pentagon and French Pres. Emmanuel Macron “convinced” Pres. Trump to keep
the U.S. military in Syria until the Syrian crisis is resolved or other Western
and Arab countries replaced the American forces. Turkey’s leaders were also
disappointed that due to his dismissal former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
could not keep his promise to Pres. Erdogan that the U.S. forces would withdraw
shortly from Northern Syria.
American troops staying in Syria, the Turkish ability to attack Kurdish
fighters in Northern Syria would be limited. Despite his crazy antics, Pres.
Erdogan is not going to target the U.S. military or as he described, “deliver
the Americans an Ottoman slap!” Thus, the unsubstantiated accusations of a
chemical attack by the Syrian government on civilians in Douma near Damascus
was most probably orchestrated by those who wanted to prevent American forces
from leaving Northern Syria, to the great chagrin of Turkey! Interestingly, in
his remarks shortly before the missile strike, Pres. Trump did not mention a
single word as to what evidence he had about the responsibility of the Syrian
regime for the chemical attack.
the missile strike on Syria generated conflicting reactions in Turkey. While
President Erdogan was unhappy with the stay of the U.S. troops in Syria, he was
delighted with the attacks by the United States, Great Britain and France,
since Turkey wanted to undermine the Syrian regime and overthrow Pres. Bashar
al-Assad. The missile strike, however, did not have such an objective, as Pres.
Trump tweeted after the attack, “Mission Accomplished!” Everyone, except
Erdogan, agrees that Pres. Assad had the upper hand in the Syrian conflict and
his overthrow would worsen the situation in Syria and the region!
negative consequence of the Turkish praise of the missile attack on Syria was
the souring of relations between Turkey, and Russia and Iran, staunch
supporters of Pres. Assad and harsh critics of the strike. In addition, Pres.
Erdogan alienated his domestic political opposition and a large segment of the
Turkish public upset by the Western powers’ attack on a fellow Muslim country.
was also unhappy that Pres. Trump, in his remarks just before the missile
strike, mentioned “Saudi Arabia, the United Emirates, Qatar, and Egypt” as “our
friends,” disregarding NATO ally Turkey due to its rapprochement with Russia
in his speech Pres. Trump criticized Russia and Iran stating: “what kind of a
nation wants to be associated with a mass murder of innocent men, women and
children? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No
nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants
and murderous dictators.” It is unfortunate that on the eve of April 24,
the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Pres. Trump would attack other
countries for keeping company with a murderous nation, ignoring the fact that
the United States is an ally of Turkey, a country that denies the murder of 1.5
million Armenians, and defends its predecessor criminal Ottoman regime that committed
the Armenian Genocide. This reminds us of what Jesus said: “You hypocrite!
First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to
remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
wrote a year ago when Pres. Trump attacked Syria with Tomahawk missiles, he was
simply hitting Syria to deviate the attention of the American public from his
many infidelities, illegalities, and investigations of his covert relations
Pres. Trump, UK Prime Minster Theresa May, and French Pres. Macron violated the
constitutions of their respective countries, by going to war against another
sovereign state without getting the consent of their legislative bodies.