News / USA

US Considers No-Fly Zone in Syria

US Mulls Syria No-Fly Zonei
|| 0:00:00
X
Scott Stearns
October 19, 2012 1:13 PM
The United States says it is still considering a no-fly zone for northern Syria as cross border shelling with Turkey threatens civilians on both sides. As VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports.

US Mulls Syria No-Fly Zone

TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid