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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs