Russia not to permit no-fly zone over Syria: Foreign Ministry


Russia will not permit the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Syria, Foreign Ministry spokesman says following reports that US and its allies are planning such a move.

“I think that we will not permit in principle such a scenario,” Alexander Lukashevich said at a news briefing on Monday.

“We saw with the example of Libya how such a zone is introduced and how such decisions are implemented. We do not want a repeat of this in respect to the Syria conflict,” he added.
Reports that the US government was preparing to impose a no-fly zone over Syria were fuelled after Pentagon confirmed on Saturday that the US will keep its F-16 warplanes and Patriot anti-aircraft missiles in Jordan after the end of the joint drill this month.

“All these maneuvers about no-fly zones and humanitarian corridors are a direct consequence of a lack of respect for international law,” Lukashevich added.

The remarks came ahead of planned talks between US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the Syria crisis on the sidelines of G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

On Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned against any effort to impose a no-fly zone over Syria.

“You don’t have to be a great expert to understand that this will still violate international law, and we really hope that our American colleagues will align their actions in accordance with the approach of the Russian-American initiative in preparation for the conference (on Syria),” he said.

On June 14, Obama ordered his administration to provide the militants with weapons, a day after the US claimed that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the militants and thus crossed Washington’s “red line.” Damascus has rejected the allegation as “lies.”

The delivery of the weapons, which include assault rifles, shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades and antitank missiles, would be carried out through the CIA, reports say.

Last week, a US defense official also stated that Washington would keep a unit of US Marines on amphibious ships off the Red Sea coast after consultations with Jordan.

The US-based Wall Street Journal had earlier reported that the no-fly zone could be implemented from Jordan.



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