Get ready. It’s the logical next step for central planners in Washington. Take away a country’s airspace and you’ve physically revoked their sovereignty… Reports out of Washington this week indicate that the Obama administration is in the planning stages of establishing a ‘No-Fly Zone’ over northeastern Syria.
White House officials are well aware that their current strategy commitment to “Bomb ISIS” will wear thin soon, and need to up the stakes to avoid a public backlash. To justify such a bold move, Washington is preparing its PR campaign which includes US State Department talking points like, “humanitarian corridors”, and “protecting civilians from airstrikes by the Syrian government”.
The ladder would be a giant leap in rhetoric in a war that US President Barack Obama originally sold to the public as a war against ISIS terrorists. Now that the public are sufficiently confused by the twisting narrative, Washington planners can make arrangements to move ahead by isolating the Syrian government and military.
NATO member Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now backing the US-run ‘No-Fly Zone’ idea, not to neutralize ISIS as one would think, but to neutralize Syria’s Air Force. Naturally, the US will want its NATO ally to be the public face of the No-Fly Zone, even though the US will still be using the airspace lock-down as an excuse to hit any air or ground targets it wishes.
It’s worth pointing out here that the elimination of Syria’s air defenses and Air Force has also been a stated goal of Israel and has been promoted heavily in Washington and London through the Israeli lobby and its think tanks.
To avoid a Democratic voter backlash over its pending 3rd Iraq War and Syrian War, White House will gradually ramp-up its campaign after the mid-term elections. The usual official-looking suspects to sell an inevitable escalation of its latest ‘Not-a-War War’. US Defense SecretaryChuck Hagel and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey are pushing the benefits of a No-Fly Zone and more US Troops on the ground.
Hagel and Dempsey have already instructed the American public that their new war “will take maybe three years” so it’s certain that stage by stage plans have already been drawn up. US officials will attempt to sell this new operation on its humanitarian benefits, and will claim that these measures “will help to avert a humanitarian disaster”.
Based on hints from both US and Israel, the primary object of a US-led ‘No-Fly Zone’ would be to disable the Syrian government’s air defense system through a series of airstrikes. After the No-Fly Zone is established, then the push will begin to carve out a NATO-run Buffer Zone, or ‘DMZ’ along the Turkish-Syrian which could help to facilitate additional US ground forces into the region in 2015.
Kurds avoiding ISIS terror armies are gathering along the Turkish-Syrian border (Photo:Albawaba)
According to Hagel, there are 1.3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey today. NATO member Turkey is very keen to do something along its border, not least of all because of the hundreds of thousands of additional Kurds crossing over from Syria.
What Hagel won’t tell us is that this refugee flow has been caused by US, UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar – all working hard to fuel a civil war by arming and funding an endless flow of foreign fighters, including ISIS terrorists, into Syria to destabilize the country.
These latest noises from Hagel and Dempsey verify what many already knew from the start – that the war on ISIS was simply window-dressing for Washington and London’s real war against Bashar al-Assad’s government in Damascus. A US or NATO declared ‘No-Fly Zone’ and ‘Buffer Zone’ serves as a run-around to the UN Security process. Despite grand proclamations of Obama’s ‘broad-based coalition’, the restriction zones will be based on the whims of the Pentagon and its strategic objectives.
This is classic mission creep, only it’s by design. It would be naive to think that after the initial month of acquiring ‘ISIS targets’, the Pentagon would not move ahead to coordinate its airstrikes with Kurdish and ‘Moderate Rebels’ on the ground in order to mitigate any influence on the ground from Damascus.
No-Fly Zones and DMZ’s
In case we’ve forgotten, a US-administered ‘No-Fly Zone’ is what really set the stage for the main US bombing campaign and invasion of Iraq in 2003 (see image below). Now we are hearing Washington wants to do the same with Syria. It’s easy to see where this is headed.
Another thing to remember about US-led Buffer Zones or ‘Demilitarized Zones’, is that once they are erected, they are never taken down.
65 years later, one war still rages on…
The longest running war in the world today is still the Korean War, which started with combat hostilities between 1950 and 1953, after which time a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was erected by the US to separate North and South Korea. The US still has some 30,000 military and civilian contractors stations on the DMZ – all on high alert.
Soldiers look in over the Israel-Lebanese border (Photo: Al Arabiya)
Likewise, following a violent and bloody Lebanese Civil War, Israel’s IDF forces held on to a strip of South Lebanon bordering Israel, illegally annexing part of Lebanon into an Israel “Buffer Zone”. Total Israeli occupation of this zone lasted for nearly 15 years, from 1985-2000.
When it comes to buffer zones, the rhetoric and the reality never match up. With both DMZ’s in Korea and South Lebanon, US and Israeli occupiers never initially admitted that they planned to stay long, but they did. Expect the same for this latest US brainwave for Syria and Turkey.
In the short term, any US-led proposals for a ‘humanitarian’ No-Fly Zone and Buffer Zone will serve first to assist US strategic planning and a US-led rebel offensive on the ground against Syrian government military forces.
Just waiting for the PR campaign to begin…