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White House official says Syria no-fly zone not off table

Tabassum Zakaria
Reuters [1]
Thursday, August 9, 2012

WASHINGTON, Aug 8 (Reuters) – A senior aide to President Barack Obama did not rule out on Wednesday the eventual creation of a no-fly zone over a patch of Syria that increasingly appears to be controlled by anti-government rebels.

Some Republican critics of Obama’s handling of the Syria crisis have been advocating international enforcement of a no-fly zone to prevent Syrian warplanes from operating over designated zones, as well as more directly arming the opposition forces fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States has so far declined to provide weapons directly to a fragmented opposition as U.S. officials say it is difficult to identify factions and who they represent. Instead, Washington has focused on humanitarian aid, communications gear and other non lethal support.

“The United States government always looks at situations and looks at what types of scenarios might unfold, and then accordingly looks at what types of contingency plans might be available to deal with certain circumstances,” said John Brennan, Obama’s senior counter-terrorism adviser.

Full story here. [1]