The winds of war swept through diplomacy. US President Donald Trump decided yesterday to suspend his long-awaited trip to Summit of Americas and Colombia in face of a possible military attack on Syrian regime. The visit to Lima, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, was his first trip to Latin America, a region to which he has shown little interest and where his popularity touches historical lows. Staying in Washington, Trump sent world and, above all to Russia and Syria, an unmistakable sign: everything is ready for coup.
There is a growing doubt that Trump is going to opt for military response to last Saturday's attack on Duma, a rebel stronghold on outskirts of Damascus. The aggression, which killed at least 60 civilians and caused hundreds of casualties, was allegedly perpetrated with chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad's troops. Although Moscow and Damascus deny strongly its implication, President of United States takes it for a while and considers it a challenge to red line which it drew up a year ago, when before a similar massacre of Syrian regime, it devastated with 59 missiles Tomahawk air base of Shayrat , in city of Homs.
That intervention was unilateral and by surprise. Now, Trump, more experienced, has sought a formula of greater complexity. The first thing has been to prepare ground with successive statements. On Sunday he accused El Asad of massacre, Responsibleed Putin for supporting it, and claimed that Syria was going to pay a "high price." On Monday he went one step furr and said: "This is an atrocity, a barbaric act and we cannot consent to it, especially since we have power to prevent it. If it was Russia, if it was Syria, if it was Iran, if it was all toger, we will solve it. " Today, in an unparalleled gesture, he has suspended his trip to Lima, leaving Summit of Americas for first time without a president of United States.
Devoted to war scenery, Trump has set a deadline for his decision. Monday took 24 to 48 hours to respond to Syrian challenge. With countdown clock, he has convened UN Security Council and has sought support of its partners. France has shown its full support for a "coordinated and forceful" action. And United Kingdom, whose definition is still blurred, has declared that all options are on table.
Only possibility of Russia allowing Security Council to set up a commission of inquiry to determine what happened in Duma could curb jolt. But that exit, which had not been voted at end of edition, seems extremely difficult. Already last November, Moscow vetoed launching of a mechanism of se characteristics by considering it partial and subject to Western interests.
The Russian veto, according to experts, would act as a detonator and would give argument to US and its allies to trigger an attack of which no one doubts. US ambassador to UN, Nikki Haley, has said that her country will intervene or disagree with Council.
"Who attacked Duma is a monster. He aimed at civilians, women and children, and made sure that no one could help m. And it's not first time. A year ago, Russia and Syria also denied use of chemical weapons and n demonstrated that Assad regime had used m. We have called for a ceasefire and have refused, we have requested a research mechanism and have rejected it. We are at edge of precipice, and time has come for justice to be done. The time has come to act, "cried Haley.
The effects of this intervention, if crystallized, will be profound. Its first consequence will be greater involvement of United States in Syrian Hornet. An abyss that after seven years of war, 320,000 dead and 10 million of displaced people still have no victor. This is a risk bet, but it offers a political capital that Republican can take advantage of.
While Barack Obama and his diplomacy were paralyzed by barbarism of El Asad and accepted most dubious Russian offer of withdrawal from his chemical arsenal, Trump would have shown world his forcefulness in a cause that, if he does not make clumsiness, is hardly You can come against it. It would have struck a ailing regime and would have shaken a zonal status quo that no one applauds.
With terrible images of gassed children playing in ir favor, he could win a victory re where he was least expected. Paradoxically, president who has made isolationism his flag and since his time as a abominó candidate for American presence in Syria, would have found on hostile ground his greatest international success.
It would be a drastic change of scenery. Just a week ago, Trump was clamoring to get out of conflict and repatriate his 2,000 soldiers. "We didn't get anything out of it. We have nothing except death and destruction. It's a horrible thing, "he said. A few days later, in a strange turn, when rebels of Guta lost battle after battle, chemical attack was recorded. And horror played his game.
Trump declared himself frightened by massacre and, in a qualitative leap, pointed out for first time since he is president by his name to Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin. "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for supporting El Asad, Animal. [...] This is a humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. Sick! "he wrote in a tweet.
This reaction has put you face to face with Moscow. Although tone is more vitriolic than or times, it is not a new phenomenon. Already last year, after American attack on Shayrat air base, both countries staged ir misunderstanding. Russia, which had also denied any evidence of chemical attack, n denounced "illegitimate intervention" and lasheded against United Nations. The rhetoric came accompanied by a suspension of joint air missions in Syria. and little else. No Russian soldier had died in attack and bridges, little by little, returned to Recompose. Syria was at mercy of war. sunk into barbarism.