Turkey Pushes for ‘Safe Zone’ Inside Syria

Move Expected to Be Blocked as France, Britain Play Up 'No-Fly Zone' Angle

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addressed the UN Security Council today, demanding the imposition of a humanitarian “safe zone” for the refugees oft he civil war and urging “robust” action to prevent ongoing violence in the nation.

A number of Syrian refugees have made similar calls for a safe zone where they can escape the violence without fleeing the country outright, but it is seen as a virtual impossibility after NATO nations have presented past plans as a way to overtly aid the rebels.

In previous comments the US has openly talked about using the “safe zones,” nominally a combat-free humanitarian zone, as a base of operation for the rebels to regroup and launch attacks from. Even today’s Turkish proposal was followed by French and British calls to expand it to include a “no-fly zone.”

Russia and China are both certain to veto any no-fly zone after NATO used one as an excuse for a full-scale war of regime change in Libya, and Western comments that suggest a Syria humanitarian corridor would be similarly interpreted seems almost certain to kill the plan.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.