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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs