US Dismisses Ban on Aircraft Over Syrian Safe Zones

Russia: Airspace Over Safe Zones Is Closed

A day after the US gave tepid support for the establishment of Syrian safe zones to try to separate combatant forces and reduce the amount of fighting, they appear to have noticed that this might get in their way of their own attacks across the country, and are pledging to ignore the demilitarization of the zones.

Back when Turkey and the US were both super keen on the idea of safe zones, a big selling point was the imposition of no-fly zones over the areas, to keep the civilians within getting bombed. This was also a big obstacle, as the US wasn’t totally clear it could do this without declaring war on Russia.

With Russia also on board now, that should’ve been easier. Instead, Russia announced that the safe zones, which went into effect overnight, are now officially closed to all warplanes, and US officials are livid at the idea, insisting they have no intention of respecting that.

Largely this appears to be a case of the US just being deliberately difficult, as none of the safe zones are in areas US warplanes were operating in the first place. The reality, however, is that the zones are now being used in service of a ceasefire the US never really supported to begin with ,and with the US-backed rebels also objecting about the ceasefire getting in the way of their war, the US will be non-cooperative.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of