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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid