Merkel: No-Fly Zone Over Syria Could Speed Up Settlement

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In Angela Merkel's opinion, a no-fly zone between "warring sides" in Syria could facilitate political settlement in the country.

BERLIN (Sputnik) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday she believes imposing a "no-fly zone" over Syria would help speed up the process of finding a political settlement in the country.

“It would be useful if a region appeared in Syria where there were no flights conducted by any of the warring sides. We can’t hold talks with the terrorists from the Daesh."

"But if it was possible to reach such an agreement on a no-fly zone as a safe region for refugees between the anti-Assad coalition and those who support [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, this would save many lives and would serve for the political process for the future of Syria,” Merkel said.

Rubble of a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) near Maaret al-Numan, in Syria's northern province of Idlib. - Sputnik International
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The German chancellor has repeatedly stated that introducing a ban on airstrikes in Syria would help settle the ongoing civil war in the region, where the country’s government has been fighting multiple opposition factions and terrorist groups, including Daesh, since 2011.

Germany plans to submit its proposal to create a no-fly zone over Syria to UN working groups in Geneva, the spokesman of the German Foreign Office said Wednesday.

"We will submit our considerations on the issue, including those mentioned by the chancellor in the interview the day before yesterday, to the humanitarian working group in Geneva, as well as the group on ceasefire that we hope will meet tomorrow or the day after," Martin Schaefer told reporters.

A US-led coalition of 66 nations has been bombing Daesh targets in Syria since September 2014, but without the approval of the Syrian government or the UN Security Council.

In September 30, 2015, Russia launched its own air campaign against Daesh and the Nusra Front, which are outlawed as terrorist organizations, at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Separately, on February 13, Turkish forces began to shell positions held by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish group with links to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), in Syria's Aleppo Province. Turkish forces bombed a village and the airport, which was recently seized by Kurdish forces.

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