With the violence in Syria continuing to spiral to dangerous levels, calls for a no-fly zone, as was imposed over Libya, have become increasingly conspicuous. Appearing on CTV, Carnegie's Frederic Wehrey noted that from a technical military perspective, there are few parallels between Libya and Syria. “The landscape of the conflict is different, there are no defined frontlines, no liberated territories and the Syrian forces are much better equipped and have better armor than the Libyan army,” said Wehrey. Implementing a no-fly zone in Syria would not only be extremely difficult, but could expand into something else, perhaps even requiring ground forces, Wehrey added. He suggested that the Obama administration is very wary of this, particularly during an election year, and is looking to avoid any sort of nation-building project at all costs. “A no-fly zone could create a Yugoslavia type situation in Syria by formalizing the fragmentation and divisions in the country,” concluded Wehrey.
The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.
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