Syrian no fly zone “not on the table at this point”: White House

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ARA News 

Damascus, Syria – On Monday, the U.S. emphasized that it is “not ready” to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria.

American officials have recently held talks with the Turkish authorities regarding the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone in Syria, which was proposed by Turkey as a condition to join the international coalition combating extremists of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in the war-torn country.

Josh Earnest, the spokesman of the White House, told reporters that the U.S. was open to discussing several options with the Turkish government.

“But a no-fly zone over Syria was not on the table at this point,” Earnest said.

Turkey has long supported the idea of creating a buffer zone inside Syria to accommodate refugees from the three-way fight between Bashar al-Assad’s regime, rebels, and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadists.

But Ankara, which has seen fighting on its southern frontier, has so far failed to persuade its NATO ally Washington, despite U.S. jets already hitting IS targets inside Syria, to put its might behind the plan.

U.S. media reports over the weekend suggested that the U.S. stance was shifting after a visit to Turkey last month by Vice President Joe Biden, but Earnest insisted that this was not the case.

 

Reporting by: Jawad al-Ali

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