May 11, 2015
The Associated Press news story “Kobani refugees stranded in Turkey” highlights a critical problem in the response of the international community to the war in Syria: a lack of planning and meaningful follow-through to create lasting solutions to the entwined crises brought on by President Assad and ISIS.
The exception is Turkey, which has adopted a pragmatic stance on how to bring lasting stability to Syria. From improving intelligence-sharing capacities with its Western allies to proposing no-fly zones over Syria to ensure Assad cannot continue indiscriminately bombing his people, Turkey has demonstrated a desire to treat the underlying sickness, rather than the various symptoms of the troubles, facing Syria.
In this effort, Turkey has recently been joined by the U.S., which on May 9 began a joint program to train moderate Syrian rebels to fight to defend their country. This is an important step, but it is crucial that Turkey and its allies find even more ways to work together to achieve long-term stability for Syria. Only when they begin seeking an integrated solution to the conflict will rebuilding, and ultimately a return to peace, become possible.
President, Turkish Heritage Organization