In a move which seems almost certain to fail, Turkey’s government is once again stepping up calls for the US to immediately agree to impose a no-fly zone across Syria, insisting the flurry of airstrikes around Aleppo over the past week justify the move.
Turkey has been harping on about a US no-fly zone for years, primarily intending for such a zone to set up an area for Syrian refugees to move to inside of Syria, reducing the number flowing into Turkey. Such plans were repeatedly endorsed by Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign.
President-elect Donald Trump, however, panned the idea during the debates, and is seen shifting the US focus in Syria toward fighting ISIS, not toward onerous military operations meant to deny the Syrian and Russian militaries access to Syrian airspace.
Even if Trump was so inclined, which he isn’t, a no-fly zone has been seen as virtually impossible for months, since Russia moved advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles into Syria to protect their bases in Latakia Province,. Those missile systems effectively give Russia control over Syria’s airspace, and for the US to impose a no-fly zone would require a massive air battle with Russia, which would be all but guaranteed to cost a large number of US warplanes.