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'No-Fly' Zone for Syria

With the blood-drenched soil of Libya barely dry, Syria is poised to face the same fate as Arab nations plan a "no-fly zone."
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 11/24/2011, 3:51 PM

 

 

With the blood-drenched soil of Libya barely dry, Syria may now be poised to face the same fate as Arab nations plan a "no-fly zone" with U.S. logistical backing.
 
Turkish warplanes are reportedly preparing to implement the plan as soon as the Arab League gives the go-ahead. A decree calling for the protection of Syrian civilians is expected to be issued shortly, RT News reported.
 
The Arab League suspended Syria's membership last week after President Bashar al-Assad chose not to honor his agreement  to end the violence against civilian protesters. 
 
In March, the Arab League similarly suspended Libya after former dictator Muammar Qaddafi ignored its efforts to broker an agreement between the government and opposition forces. Eventually, the Arab League called for a no-fly zone, paving the way for a NATO bombing campaign that led to the end of Qaddafi's reign.
 
A report published in the Kuwaiti al-Rai daily newspaper quoted senior European sources as saying the plan is expected to cripple the Syrian army "in less than 24 hours." The no-fly zone would include a ban on the movement of Syrian tanks, personnel carriers and artillery, according to Albawaba.
 
The news comes following a resolution passed Tuesday by the United Nations General Assembly condemning human rights abuses by the Assad regime. The text of the non-binding resolution cited the killing, arbitrary imprisonment and torture of civilians. It also called on Syria to withdraw the government tanks from the streets, release political prisoners, end attacks on civilians and allow international observers into the country.
 
Russia abstained from the vote, maintaintaining that "a human rights issue should in no circumstances be used as a pretext for interfering in a country's internal affairs."  
 
The United Nations has estimated that more than 3,500 people have died in the government crackdowns on civilian protesters since the "Arab Spring" demonstrations begain across the country in March. Human rights organizations and activists place the death toll much higher, however, as high as up to 4,500.
 
The Damascus government claims in response that at least 1,100 members of the security forces have been killed by "foreign-backed terrorist groups."

 

Turkish warplanes are reportedly preparing to implement the plan as soon as the Arab League gives the go-ahead. A decree calling for the protection of Syrian civilians is expected to be issued shortly, RT News reported.

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership last week after President Bashar al-Assad chose not to honor his agreement  to end the violence against civilian protesters.

In March, the Arab League similarly suspended Libya after former dictator Muammar Qaddafi ignored its efforts to broker an agreement between the government and opposition forces. Eventually, the Arab League called for a no-fly zone, paving the way for a NATO bombing campaign that led to the end of Qaddafi's reign.

A report published in the Kuwaiti al-Rai daily newspaper quoted senior European sources as saying the plan is expected to cripple the Syrian army "in less than 24 hours." The no-fly zone would include a ban on the movement of Syrian tanks, personnel carriers and artillery, according to Albawaba.

The news comes following a resolution passed Tuesday by the United Nations General Assembly condemning human rights abuses by the Assad regime. The text of the non-binding resolution cited the killing, arbitrary imprisonment and torture of civilians. It also called on Syria to withdraw the government tanks from the streets, release political prisoners, end attacks on civilians and allow international observers into the country.

Russia abstained from the vote, maintaintaining that "a human rights issue should in no circumstances be used as a pretext for interfering in a country's internal affairs." 

The United Nations has estimated that more than 3,500 people have died in the government crackdowns on civilian protesters since the "Arab Spring" demonstrations begain across the country in March. Human rights organizations and activists place the death toll much higher, however, as high as up to 4,500.

The Damascus government claims in response that at least 1,100 members of the security forces have been killed by "foreign-backed terrorist groups."