Trump Administration Backtracks on its Commitment for No-Fly Zones in Syria
The U.S government will only back a no-fly zone agreement in which only it can fly in; it will not abide by agreements that ground its planes.
When Russia arranged an agreement for the establishment of a Syrian no-fly zone (also called “safe zones”) in order to separate Islamic extremists from lesser extremists, the U.S had only given it moderate support even though it did not sign on to it.
The US has now backtracked on even that moderate support and has claimed that it will fly and bomb wherever it wants. As the Washington Times states, the U.S believes that it must be free to fly where it wants in order to attack ISIS targets. However, many have pointed out that the current safe zones do not protect ISIS – they do not contain ISIS targets – so the argument does not seem to be standing up to scrutiny.
Over the passed few years, the U.S has insisted on no-fly zones, the argument being that no fly zones would protect civilians from aerial bombings. The U.S government under the Obama admiration was not able to enforce a no-fly zone as Russia was not on board. Similarly, President Trump had also insisted on a no-fly zone back in January.
Now that Russia has agreed, the current U.S administration seems to have backtracked on the long held insistence over a fly-zone.
Check out this short but succinct explanation of the Russian plan and why the Trump administration is backtracking on its earlier commitment to safe zones:
It seems that at this point the Trump administration, like the previous administration under President Obama, is not interested in a ceasefire but seeks prolong the conflict in order to force President Bashar al-Asad out of Damascus.
The rebels also seem to be complaining as the ceasefire is getting in the way of their war but at this point they are being forced to abide by it since Turkey, their primary ally in the region, is backing the safe zones.
The no-fly zone presents a great dilemma for Al-Qaeda and its allies because it requires that rebels empty out their strongholds of its fighters. The Obama administration, and even the CIA, had previously resisted calls to blacklist Al-Qaeda affiliated groups on its terror list. Perhaps one reason is because they see them as the only reliable force that can defeat the Syrian government without direct American military confrontation. This is no conspiracy theory here. Not long ago, a commander in the Nusrah Front (Al Qaeda) admitted that they were being armed by the CIA and Obama administration. Although there may be outward tension between the two groups, evidence on the ground suggests that there is a tacit cooperation and hence why the current administration may not be too happy about putting the Front and its allies at a disadvantage.