Rebuking the "no-fly" zone myth over syria

by Andrew Korybko

With much speculation – not to say hysteria – currently in the alt media that Russia has mishandled the situation in Syria, that the US is pushing to shoot down a Russian jet because they “know” Russia will not respond, or that Turkey is playing both sides to its own advantage, Korybko offers, in this brief piece, a different perspective that may not be receiving enough attention right now.
Time will tell which perspective has the most validity of course, but many of the pundits who excoriated Russia’s refusal to engage militarily in Ukraine as an abject weakness and failure are now describing the situation in Syria in similar language. They were proved entirely wrong in the first instance, so they may well proved wrong again here.

There is no formal “no fly” zone in Syria because that requires:

  • a) “grounding” the targeted air force by bombing their on-the-ground positions (hangers) like they did Libya and Iraq;
  • b) exercising continual air dominance over the targeted area with regular patrols;
  • c) and proceeding to destroy all “enemy” ground units in the zone of operations, none of which has occurred because:
    • 1) the Russian Aerospace Forces still have full dominance over the skies;
    • 2) neither the Russian nor Syrian air force units on the ground in Syria have been targeted;
    • 3) and the SAA is still in Hasakah and Deir Ez Zor.

The so-called “no-fly” zone would also infer that both Damascus and Moscow have ceded this portion of the country to the US, which also hasn’t happened in the manner that Iraq did with the northern Kurdish region in the past.
Yes, there are sensitive de-escalatory steps being taken, but no, I don’t believe that there is any “no-fly” zone in place such as the ones previously imposed over Bosnia, Northern Iraq, and Libya.


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Aug 28, 2016 8:08 PM

All the points explained above are accurate as far as I can recall. NFZ’s can be varied depending on who is trying to implement them and why. This piece is succinct and useful in a basic understanding of this modern military development. However, there is little mention of the fact that Syria owns the skies above it’s sovereign state and only Syria has the legal right to impose a no-fly zone whatever the US might think or try to make us believe. Any attempt to enforce it would be aggression since the NO-fly zones are in fact illegal.( The Secretary-General of the UN at the time the resolution was passed, Boutros Boutros declared them illegal to J.Pilger)-Unless the US wants to declare a State of War against Syria and by proxy, Russia, they would not be able to impose the NFZ without making a statement of intent to commit an… Read more »

Aug 28, 2016 6:51 PM

We can only hope that Russia will be able to come to terms with Turkey to cease its invasion of Northern Syria. At some point the UN is going to have to recognize that the US is in Syria illegally and making war on Syria illegally. Russia at least has been invited by the Syrian government to help it deal with American supported terrorists. Everyone had better rethink the whole scenario in the Middle East. Just which nation is the worst perpetrator of terrorism? I would suggest Saudi Arabia is tied with the US as number 1.

Aug 28, 2016 11:17 PM
Reply to  archie1954

archie. You took the words out of my mouth.

Aug 29, 2016 3:34 PM
Reply to  flybow

Can anybody figure out what Putin is doing? He’s pals again with Turkey but not attacking the illegal Turkish forces and now he wants to try and broker peace between the apartheid/terrorist regime of Israel and the Palestinians under it’s ruthless occupation – a no brainer. Only Putin can stop US aggression and Saudi war crimes but there is little evidence to suggest his continued concerns in these matters. Lavrov can denounce the US illegal attempt to circumvent the laws applying to NFZ’s but Putin needs to denounce it for what it is. Any social media site with reports on this matter?

Aug 30, 2016 1:15 AM
Reply to  mohandeer

I suggest there is more than one way to skin a cat. Just because you and other not fully informed reactives can’t figure out the complexities of the current hybrid war doesn’t mean that Putin has ‘sold out’. Have a little faith.