Iran censures Turkey’s no-fly zone plan for Syria

Tehran, Feb 20 (IANS) Turkey’s initiative for the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Syria is “a repetition of mistakes” committed by the West in the past, a senior Iranian official said on Saturday.

“The solution to the Syrian crisis, which has negatively affected regional security, is merely political,” Xinhua quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying.

“Undoubtedly, renewal of the idea of a no-fly zone (over Syria) will not provide any help for regional security and stability,” he said.

Ankara has renewed calls for setting up a no-fly zone and a safe zone for rebels and refugees in the north of Syria as hopes to stop the five-year-old conflict in its Arab neighbour dim more than ever.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip on Wednesday said a no-fly zone would have prevented Russia’s air campaign in the region and prevented thousands of civilian deaths.

The proposal does not have the backing of most NATO allies. Only Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that a kind of no-fly zone from Aleppo to the Turkish border can be good to protect civilians.

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