France, allies discussing no-fly-zone over Syria, French official says
Foreign-backed insurgents in Syria (file photo) Sat Sep 22, 2012
A French official who spoke on condition of anonymity
France and its allies are discussing the establishment of a no-fly-zone over Syria, according to a French official says.
“We are working, but not only us, a lot of countries are working on the issue of a no-fly zone, but for the moment it is clear that it’s very difficult to set up for several reasons,” AFP quoted a senior French official as saying in Washington on Friday.
“We are talking with all our partners, with the Turks, with the Americans, with the Brits, with others,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
He went on to say that the decision must be approved by the United Nations Security Council, where it will probably face opposition from Russia and China.
“It is a very complex decision for legal reasons and for practical reasons. The military assessment is that this is extremely complicated. This has to be looked at very carefully by the Pentagon, by our military people, the British military, the Turks,” the French official added.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
Western states have been calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. However, Russia and China are strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the armed militants are foreign nationals, mostly from Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan.