WH Asks Pentagon to Prepare Syrian No-Fly Zone Plan
The White House has requested the Pentagon devise plans for a no-fly zone over Syria, the Daily Beast reports. The hypothetical no-fly zone would be enforced by the U.S. and European allies.
A no-fly zone inside Syria would, like the U.N.-authorized no-fly zone put in place over Libya in the weeks preceding the fall of Moammar Qaddafi, effectively ground Syria’s military aircraft, aiding rebel forces. It would likely require knocking out Assad’s anti-aircraft defenses, making it a marked escalation of American involvement in a civil war that has claimed 80,000 lives since March 2011, according to U.N. estimates.
The White House request comes less than a month after evidence surfaced that chemical weapons had been used in the country. President Obama had previously declared the use of chemical weapons in Syria a “red line,” but the White House did not take any particular actions following the revelations — now, apparently, they are at least considering one way to take a harder line toward the ongoing war.