October 4, 2012
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has asked the United States to impose an immediate “no fly zone” over areas of Syria in the aftermath of a mortar attack which killed five Turkish civilians, according to a report by Israeli intelligence outfit DebkaFile.
Following the attack, which evidence suggests was actually carried out by FSA rebels and not Syrian forces, Erdogan “Asked Washington….whether the Syrian attack would serve as the pretext for imposing a no-fly zone over northern and central Syria with US Air Force participation,” according to the report.
Obama administration officials flatly refused Erdogan’s request, citing recent intelligence which suggests that Syrian President Bashar Assad will not be able to hold on to power for any longer than six months.
As we saw with Libya, a “no fly zone” is merely a euphemism for aerial bombardment and aggressive regime change.
Having been denied the no fly zone, Turkey responded by using artillery barrages to carve out a 10 kilometer deep buffer strip inside Syria, targeting military bases and outposts.
Although Washington refused to back a no fly zone, they did give the green light for Turkey to launch its own attacks inside Syrian territory, a move that was rubber stamped by the Turkish parliament earlier today. The buffer zone will allow opposition fighters, many of whom are Al-Qaeda terrorists, to more easily acquire weapons to conduct terrorist bombings in Aleppo and Damascus.