News / USA

US Considers No-Fly Zone in Syria

The Obama administration says it is still considering a no-fly zone for northern Syria as cross-border shelling with Turkey threatens civilians on both sides.

With more Syrian tanks along the border, artillery fire between Syria and Turkey risks spreading violence, said
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

"The Turks have been very consistent that they are striking back strongly and proportionally every time they take an attack across the border," Nuland said. "This is extremely dangerous and goes to the point that we’ve been making about the danger of this conflict spilling beyond borders."

Turkey's response is about more than border security, said U.S. Institute of Peace analyst Steve Heydemann.

"It's also very clearly an effort on the part of the government in Ankara to change the political equation and to bring much greater pressure to bear not only on the Assad regime itself, but on the international community about what is at stake in this conflict and why the international community needs to do much more than it has," Heydemann said.

With more than 100,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey, Washington is weighing the no-fly zone for areas of northern Syria controlled by Assad opponents.

"We continue to talk to partners about how, what, why, exactly the elements that might go into some of these things that people have proposed, including a no-fly zone, but we haven’t made any decisions at this stage," Nuland said.

President Assad realizes a no-fly zone would give his rebel opponents an "extraordinary advantage, said Heydemann.

"The Syrians view this escalation of conflict across the Syrian-Turkish border as another effort to establish Syria's determination not to be intimidated by the superior military of Turkey, not to be intimidated by the threat that NATO might support Turkey."

He said Assad's government is feeling emboldened by outside help at a time when international military support for the rebels is limited.

"They feel as if Russia, China, Iran, Hezbollah are very firmly on their side," Heydemann said. "They sense the prevarication of the international community in increasing its support for the opposition. And they feel that gives them the advantage."

Lebanon's Hezbollah faction says it does not have fighters in Syria. Still, the United States is concerned about growing Hezbollah and Iranian influence in Syria and is sharing those concerns with Russia, Nuland said.

"If Moscow is concerned about these kinds of things -- they have expressed concern about what could come after Assad -- and our point is, what is coming now with Assad still in power, increasing efforts by extremists of all kinds and by Iran to make trouble that could spread even beyond borders," she said.

Nuland added the United States is working with allies who supply weapons to Syrian rebels to ensure that those arms are not going to groups that are being infiltrated by extremists.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 19, 2012 1:00 PM
No fly zone, yes and no. Assad enlisting the forces of Hezbollah and Iran becomes a write off. The opposition is a no-gooder in the infiltration of al qaida and other terrorist groups fighting for them. The right thing right now is to watch Syria sort itself out with each group showing the world why it wants to take control in the country. Assad has been all the while confused, not willing to jettison Iran in its parrhea state. Assad lost its opportunity to become the galvanizing force in the ME ahead of such other contestants as Egypt and Turkey when it failed to cease the initiative to make peace with Israel, which would have given it total world and UN backing. Now the opposition is aimless and without an agenda but to remove Assad. That cannot be enough reason to give them all the support. What is the right of the minorities going to look like if the opposition triumphs? The US should observe things from a distance until things take shape out before taking a stand. You've made a mistake in Egypt and Libya, don't make another one in Syria by hastily supporting the wrong side.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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