Analysis

Why a US No-Fly Zone Over Syria Is a Bad Idea
Newly arrived refugees from Syria put up tents at the Za’atari refugee camp on January 30, 2013 in Mafrq, Jordan. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
June 27, 2013
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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A number of members of Congress have called for a U.S. no-fly zone over Syria, but even a limited no-fly zone over the Syrian-Jordanian border would come with high costs and a long list of negatives, including the possibility of daily air combat. More importantly, it wouldn’t change the facts on the ground in Syria, or bring the conflict between the rebels and the Assad regime to a quicker conclusion.
The United States would have few immediate problems enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria. But it’s doubtful the American public would support this type of mission and Russia and China would be quick to veto any proposed multinational air power collaboration versus Syria. No-fly zones also tend to cost more, last longer, and risk more lives than their proponents like to admit.
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