Why is the US opposing a no-fly zone in Syria?
Turkey has launched its “Euphrates Shield” military operation under a certain consensus with Russia, Iran and the United States. It is conducting the operation through the same consensus.
Due to this, Turkey has been able to remove the terrorist formation, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), from its border.
Now, Turkey wants to declare a no-fly zone along the 98-kilometer-long Syrian border and a region a further 40 kilometers to 45 kilometers into the country.
This is a demand that Turkey has been making since the Syrian civil war erupted.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) immediately said such a security zone was needed. The TSK emphasized this before it crossed into Syria. This demand was not only based on military aims but also had economic and social reasons. The demand for such a zone was first to be able to resettle refugees, especially those who had migrated from Syria. Second, Turkey wanted to use this zone to be able to meet future waves of migrations again in settlements to be built there.
This demand of Turkey was never received positively by the United States; it was always opposed.
In the new circumstances that formed after the Euphrates operation, Turkey was able to form a de facto secure zone, but the U.S. is again opposed to declaring the area as a no-fly zone.
Why does the U.S. object to Turkey’s demand for a terror-free zone which is also a no-fly one?
The official Washington reasoning is as such: “We do not think that a no-fly zone in Syria will solve the essential issues on the field, because there is an ongoing war in the area while the problems and violence are all around the country.”
This reasoning is not believable.
The no-fly zone, the security zone, as Turkey demands, is necessary not only in terms of security but also to provide for the return of Syrian refugees to their country and to accommodate possible new waves of migrants on Syrian soil.
One of the reasons that Turkey is persistent on this demand is to confront possible new migration waves on Syrian land before they reach Turkey; but at the same time, Turkey wants to prevent the crossing of terrorists who are members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Democratic Union Party/People’s Protection Units (PYD-YPG) through this region.
Of course, another significant target is to prevent the corridor the PKK-PYD is trying to open alongside the south of the Turkey-Syrian border.
As a matter of fact, Ankara has just reasons.
The actual reason
There is no logical reason the U.S. can argue against Turkey’s just and valid grounds.
The actual reason the U.S. is opposing Turkey’s demand is that it is the PKK-PYD and YPG that oppose this secure zone.
Because Washington cannot say this openly, it opts for other justifications. The U.S. does not want to break or weaken the PKK-PYD-YPG front.
It still views the YPG as the “land force of the U.S.” in Syria. It knows that such a no-fly or security zone would block the targets of PKK-PYD-YPG in northern Syria.
The U.S. knows that this region, to be controlled by Turkey, will also prevent the project of the PKK.
Even though this is the real reason, the U.S. argues, “We are against a security zone because war is continuing in the area,” which is a reasoning without a cause and effect relationship.
Or course, Ankara is aware of this…
In opposition to this American reasoning which is far from being believable, Turkey insists on its demand for a terror-free zone and no-fly zone.
If the U.S. is in a sincere alliance with Turkey, then it has to support Turkey’s justified demand which also features humanitarian and social aims.