News / Middle East

    Panetta: No Plans for Syria No-Fly Zone

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is interviewed by The Associated Press, Aug. 13, 2012, at the Pentagon.
    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is interviewed by The Associated Press, Aug. 13, 2012, at the Pentagon.
    Luis Ramirez
    PENTAGON — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday that the United States has no plans for imposing a no-fly zone over Syria as the government of Bashar al-Assad steps up air attacks on the city of Aleppo.  

    Pentagon officials have noted what they describe as a troubling increase in air attacks on Aleppo that are claiming civilian lives daily, raising questions of whether the United States will move beyond its current policy of providing only non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition.  

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters Tuesday that Washington will also continue to provide humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey and Jordan, and monitor Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.

    “With regard to the no-fly zone, that is not a front-burner issue for us,” Panetta said.

    But U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Jordan and Turkey might be considering imposing a no-fly zone.

    “We have been in discussion with Jordanians and the Turks, and they’re both interested mostly in the effects that could spill over from Syria into their countries.  Both have examined the possibility of a safe haven.  And with a safe haven would probably come some form of no-fly zone, but we’re not planning anything unilaterally,” Dempsey said.

    Panetta also expressed concern about what he called Iran’s growing presence in Syria, where he said Iranians are training and advising a Syrian militia in support of President Assad’s forces.

    “We do not think that Iran ought to be playing that role at this moment in time, that it’s dangerous, that it’s adding to the killing that’s going on in Syria and that it tries to bolster a regime that we think ultimately is going to come down,” Panetta said.  

    Panetta said he does not believe that Israel has made a decision on whether to launch a preemptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.  General Dempsey said such action might be able to delay, but not destroy, Iran’s nuclear program.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Carl from: CA
    August 14, 2012 9:18 PM
    Romney and Obama should agree to agree on helping the Syrian people .. agree not to make Syria a campaign issue and act now .. even though it is 438 days late and meant the death torture and maiming of 50,000 persons .. I have been to Aleppo and never met a kinder people .. the fault is with President Obama who abandoned the noble Syrian people 438 days ago when the dictator started shooting them .. President Obama's cowering before the dictators of the Kremlin and Damascus is shameful and disgusting ..

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora