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White House rules out `no-fly zone` in Syria

Last Updated: Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 12:46

Johannesburg: United States government has declined mounting `no-fly zone` in Syria and said that it is difficult, dangerous and costly and will not be correct for halting close quarters ground battles.

The statement has come after US officials had vowed to bolster military aid to the Syrian rebels and were expected to send some arms for the first time, News 24 reports.

Deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes admitted that vaulting a `no-fly zone` in Syria will bring several logistical and strategic challenges along and will make the defence even tougher as Syria does not possess a strong air defence system such as that in Libya.

Rhodes further claimed that certain rebels and forces had been fighting `block by block in cities` with Syrian President Bashar Assad`s regime in a bid to make targeting particular forces difficult, adding that strategic approaches such as `no-fly zone` will not stop an intense sectarian conflict, although Washington is not ruling out options.

The advisor also said that US is not promoting its national interest in pursuing an open-ended military engagement through a no-fly zone in Syria. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki has however rejected reports that a `no-fly zone` had been decided upon, though he said that US President Barack Obama can still consider the option.

White House had earlier announced US aid to Syrian rebels after concluding that Assad`s forces had crossed a US `red line` by using chemical weapons.

Obama will tackle the issue of scope of the assistance provided to Syrian rebels at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland as the true nature of the new US military aid still remains unclear, the report added.


First Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 12:46

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