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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid