Syrian Foreign Ministry: Merkel’s Proposal on ‘no-fly zone’ Aims to Protect Terrorists

18 February، 2016
Damascus, SANA

Syria wondered at the statements of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel that called for establishing a “no-fly zone” in Syria, expressing complete rejection of them.

An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry noted in a statement to SANA that Merkel’s statements go in line with what the Turkish regime has been demanding for a long time with the aim to protect the terrorist groups and prod them into continuing their crimes against the Syrian people.

Merkel’s statements are “completely rejected” as they constitute a violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and contravene the rules of the international law and the UN Charter, the source said.

The aim of these statements would only lead to prolonging the crisis in Syria instead of contributing to finding a solution, the source added.

H. Said

A warplane which activists say belongs to the Russian forces flies in the sky over the southern countryside of Idlib, Syria October 2, 2015

February 18. /TASS/. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s proposal to establish a no-fly zone in the north of Syria is unacceptable and is aimed to support terrorists, a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

“Syria does not accept the proposal by the German chancellor [on possible establishment of a no-fly zone in the country’s north], which is interference in Syria’s domestic affairs, violation of its sovereignty, the principle of inviolability of borders and totally contradicts international law and the UN Charter,” the statement said.

The ministry said that such statements by Merkel “coincide with the demands of the Turkish authorities, which are aimed at protection of terrorist groups and feed crimes of extremists against the Syrian people.”

Such statements, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said, “protract the resolution of the [intra-Syrian] conflict and do not in any way contribute to the search for ways out of the crisis.”

Merkel voiced her proposal to establish a no-fly zone along the Syrian-Turkish border on Wednesday. In her view, airstrikes of Russia and the Bashar Assad troops “are out of line with the spirit of the resolution adopted by the United Nations in December and thus efforts to reduce the level of violence.”

Merkel said it would be a good sign “if a deal between Assad and his allies and the anti-IS coalition is reached” that would ensure establishment of “something like a no-fly zone where there would be no bombings and civilians would not come under pressure and murders” on the territory between Aleppo and the Turkish border.

According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed over 220,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011. Gangs of militants making part of various armed formations, the most active of them being the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, fight government troops.

Russian military operation in Syria

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The air group initially comprised over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were deployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia.

On October 7, 2015, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive.

In mid-November 2015, Russia increased the number of aircraft taking part in the operation in Syria to 69 and involved strategic bombers in strikes at militants.

Targets of the Russian aircraft include terrorists’ gasoline tankers and oil refineries.

Russia’s aircraft have made thousands of sorties since the start of the operation in Syria.

Lavrov Says No-Fly Zone Over Syria ‘Turkish Initiative, Not Merkel’s’

Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday it was Turkey that came up with the initiative to create a no-fly zone over Syria.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) shake hands during the press conference, after a meeting at the Chancellery, in Berlin on January 22, 2016

BERLIN (Sputnik) — Turkey has actively advocated for establishing a no-fly zone in northern Syria to US and NATO opposition.

“In the current situation, introduction of an area where no side could carry out airstrikes, a kind of no-fly zone, could be helpful. We cannot negotiate with terrorists. But if it were possible to achieve such an agreement between the anti-Assad coalition and those supporting Assad, it would really help,” she said in an interview with the local Stuttgarter Zeutung newspaper.

In November, US President Barack Obama said imposing a no-fly zone in Syria to improve the humanitarian situation in the region was counterproductive.