The United States at Its Weakest


Barack Obama’s legacy cannot be read separately from the failure in Syria

Russia and Assad forces have been mercilessly bombarding Aleppo for days. About 1,000 people are said to have been killed in just one week.

No extraordinary meeting at the United Nations, no remarks of grief, and no implied threat will change Russia’s inhumane treatment of both Syrian people and the opponents of the regime. The phantom of the international community, which generally comprises of the EU countries and the U.S., is currently experiencing its weakest time since the end of the Cold War.

The U.S. State Department announced that it is taking steps to suspend the U.S.-Russian bilateral engagement in Syria unless Russia moves to end the Aleppo assault. The U.S. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby warned that the continuation of the civil war in Syria might cause some extremist groups to extend their attacks beyond the borders, adding that the assaults might take place even in Russian cities. He even made a covert threaten, saying “Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft.”

The U.K., the U.S. and France called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting over the situation in Syria. During the meeting, it was highlighted that Russia has used bunker-buster bombs to seize Aleppo and aims to obtain results through military methods, and how inhumane the country’s actions are. The council ended the meeting without coming to a conclusion, as always. And they will continue to have no results.

As State Department Spokesman Mark Toner confessed, “The U.S. government is discussing alternative policy options” and that “there’s not a Plan B.” This statement is enough to give the green light to Russia.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Muslim, who is on friendly terms with the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Daish Brett McGurk, praised the Russia’s occupation of Syria by arguing that it ended the unipolar order by consolidating Moscow’s power in the international arena. In a statement he made to Sputnik, Muslim also said the Russian operation changed the “terrorist” image in Washington and the U.S. ended up approaching some terrorist groups in the region differently. Muslim must be referring to the groups who were once supported by the CIA and to which the U.S. first remained unresponsive but then listed them as terrorists when Russia kicked off its air bombardments.You have just read a profile of the U.S.’s close allies in Syria. I guess it has provided an insight into the reason why Barack Obama’s legacy cannot be read separately from the failure in Syria.

* Hilal Kaplan is a Turkish columnist. She writes for Daily Sabah Turkish newspaper.

(Published in Daily Sabah, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016)