Press TV Debate: Russia will not allow US no-fly zone in Syria


President Donald Trump says he is going to establish a “safe zone” in Syria. The new US leader has not given details of the project, however experts have expressed concern about the potential risk of an escalation as a result of the American military intervention. Press TV has asked two panelists about where such a plan comes from and what the consequences would be.

VT Editor Kevin Barrett, author and Middle East expert from Madison, Wisconsin, said Thursday night that Russia would not allow the US to go along with its no-fly zone project in Syria.

“If Trump gets into office and starts throwing around this euphemism for no-fly zones, I would be shocked if his military actually was willing to try to implement a no-fly zone and get into a shooting war with Russia,” Barrett said.

According to the author, there was a real debate in American policy circles a few years ago about whether there should be “no-fly zone” especially before Russia got involved in the Syrian conflict.

“But today Russia is there and they have very robust anti-aircraft systems and Russia is not going to let happen to Syria what happened to Libya.”

Based on the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, the United States and its allies imposed a no-fly zone on Libya and justified their attack on the Arab country in 2011 to overthrow the regime of President Muammar Gaddafi.

Barrett added that any kind of unilateral American attempt to impose no-fly zone over Syria is really “a day late and a dollar short.”

“If Trump has some kind of serious idea of imposing anything remotely comparable to so-called no-fly zone in Syria and he is planning out doing this without working with Russia, he is even crazier than his worst critics suspect,” he stated.

Such propositions, Barret said, reflect Trump’s “attention deficit disorder” and his inability to work with groups of people in diplomatic situations coming from different nations and different outlooks.

“Trump is surrounded by military people and the people around him are not the sort of people who have ever been on the side of unilateral so-called no fly zones, which are really just euphemisms for bombing and destroying countries,” the analyst said.

According to the analyst, the world is facing two Trumps. The first Trump says he is non-interventionist but the second Trump is surrounded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Zionist lobbies who urge the US president to follow regime change policy in Syria.

“The destabilization of Syria really has always been part of the larger Middle Eastern war on behalf of Israel,” Barrett added.

Jihad Mouracadeh, a political commentator from Beirut, said the proposition of a safe zone in Syria is just like many ideas and talks that the new US president expresses, “but there is no meat on the bone.”

President Trump needs US Congress’s approval to intervene in Syria militarily, but it is unlikely that he will be allowed to go ahead with military intervention in Syria, the analyst said.

Trump, he said, is throwing ideas up in the air and people do not take him seriously at all, because the US Defense Department cannot go along with a plan, which may cause confrontation with Russia.

“There is a reality on the ground which is Russia, Turkey and Syria” and the Trump administration is not in a position to carry out American strategy in the Arab state, he pointed out.

“Russia is calling the shots, Turkey is partially calling the shots and these are the two guarantors in Syria today and nothing happens without their agreement; so, safe zones or no safe zones, Trump or no Trump, they (Russians and Turks) are the ones calling the shots,” he argued.

Pointing to possible agreement between Washington and Moscow to find a way out of the Syrian crisis, he said, “There’ll be some compromise as to what needs to be done to get to a peaceful political settlement in Syria.”

If the United States wants to establish a safe zone in Syria, the Americans need to agree with the Russians on how to carry out this project, he said.


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