Monday, July 27, 2015

US Senior Official remarks on WPost "No Fly Zone" Story

US: There will be no "No Fly Zone" Announcement:
Ilhan Tanir

US "Senior Administration Official" made some exclusive statement on Washington Post's "no fly zone" report.

Senior Official's remarks:
"Details remain to be worked out, but what we are talking about with Turkey is cooperating to support partners on the ground in northern Syria who are countering ISIL."
Meaning: Including Syrian Kurdish forces, Coalition air power will continue supporting various anti-ISIL forces in N.Syria.

"The goal is to establish an ISIL-free zone and ensure greater security and stability along Turkey’s border with Syria."
Meaning: Not "Assad-free zone" but "ISIL-free zone". This is something parallel to what the US adm has been wanting for, not Ankara. Ankara insisted for years that any kind of buffer zone or safe zone in N. Syria has to be established to intervene against the Assad regime forces as well.

"Any joint military efforts will not include the imposition of a no-fly zone.  As the Presidents discussed in their phone call on Wednesday, we will work in concert towards a political settlement to the conflict in Syria."
Meaning: No Fly Zone will not be announced as some of Turkish press reported earlier.

When asked the Obama administration's senior official whether the coalition forces taking off from Incirlik Airbase will continue support PYD forces in N. Syria, official commented:

"The United States has been clear that we support the efforts of various groups fighting ISIL with Coalition airstrikes. This support to counter-ISIL ground forces in Syria continues. This includes support not only for the anti-ISIL fighters - comprising Syrian Kurds and local Sunni Arab fighters - who drove ISIL from Tel Abyad last month, but also recent Coalition airstrikes north of Aleppo where primarily Sunni Arab opposition forces have been battling ISIL."

Meaning that US forces continue to support Syrian Kurdish PYD forces. However it is not clearly stated here, it's very plausible that the coalition jets/unmanned planes take off from Incirlik will help Syrian Kurdish forces as well as other anti-ISIL groups on the ground. Official also reminds that US recently started to support those Syrian Sunni Arab fighters that countering ISIL on the ground. Those Sunni Arabs around north of Aleppo are most likely the ones Turkey supports.

"We share Turkey's position that areas liberated from ISIL should be administered inclusively with conditions set for the return of refugees. This will be key to stabilizing these areas. We welcome the pledge of the anti-ISIL forces in Tel Abyad to allow the return of refugees and encourage them to leave administration of the town to local, credible civilian committees, and we urge the groups to fulfill these pledges."

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