News / Middle East

No-Fly Zones: Hidden Complexities

US F-16 fighter jets patrolling Iraqi airspace in June, 2001
US F-16 fighter jets patrolling Iraqi airspace in June, 2001

Multimedia

Audio
Susan Yackee

As forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ramped up their offensive against opposition strongholds Tuesday, diplomats from Lebanon, France and Britain presented the U.N. Security Council with a resolution that includes authorization of a no-fly zone over Libya. The initiative looks simple at face-value but, as observers point out,  it is very complex in nature and difficult to implement, often requiring a coalition of countries to do so. VOA’s Susan Yackee spoke to VOA’s Senior Correspondent André de Nesnera about the definition of no-fly zones and about where they have been used in the past.

Listen to Susan Yackee’s Q&A with André de Nesnera:

De Nesnera: A no-fly zone is an airspace in which certain aircraft, especially military aircraft, are forbidden to fly. And they are usually forbidden to fly by a country that has a bigger air force.

Yackee: And how do they stop people from flying in those zones?

De Nesnera: What they do is - the skies are patrolled by whoever that coalition is at that particular time. And in the last 20 years there were two such no-fly zones – one over Bosnia for two years in the mid-nineties and one over northern and southern Iraq spanning from 1991 to 2003.

The first one was a NATO operation and the one over northern and southern Iraq was a coalition of basically just three countries – the United States, Britain and, to a certain extent, France was involved.

Yackee: Do they actually shoot planes down? What about the people on the ground?

De Nesnera: It’s a good question. What you have to do – and this is what the international community is doing right now – you have to define the objective of the no-fly zone.

Let’s take the example of Libya that everybody is talking about. What is the objective? Is it to protect the people? That way you would be involved in one kind of no-fly zone. Is it to overthrow Colonel Gadhafi? Or is it to help the rebels? So you have to define that and then, based on that, you also have something called the rules of engagement… Do you shoot [planes] down when they are just in that area or do you shoot when they attack you? So there is a lot involved. And that’s not even talking about the military aspect – how many planes should be involved? Are you going to patrol all of Libya or certain parts? So there are a lot of issues that need to be resolved before one can even consider a no-fly zone over Libya.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid