Officials across NATO have been long trying to put together a war in Syria that would mirror the NATO attack on Libya, in which regime change was imposed after a loophole in a UN Security Council resolution was used as an excuse for total war.
Russia’s been extremely sensitive about Syria resolutions specifically because of this, however, and the reality is that there isn’t going to be a UN resolution that remotely leaves open a loophole like that. So now officials are turning to Kosovo as a “precedent.”
The 1999 Kosovo campaign was essentially a four month campaign of violations of the Geneva Conventions, with NATO warplanes deliberately attacking sites like hospitals and schools on the grounds that they were “dual use” and could conceivably have been of value to the Yugoslav military. The campaign also included the inexplicable bombing of the Chinese embassy.
The war ended with a protracted NATO-EU deployment in Kosovo, which continues to this day, and the tiny Republic of Kosovo remains fiercely divided along racial lines, and NATO troops imposing a blockade of ethnic Serbian villages that want to continue to trade with Serbs across the border.
As a practical matter, the precedent of the US attacking a nation without UN authorization could just as easily have been Iraq as Kosovo, but Iraq was a recent enough disaster of a war that it would be rejected out of hand.