New head of NATO Philip Breedlove on what a Syrian ‘no-fly zone’ means in reality.

Worth pointing out to those labouring under the illusion that a ‘no-fly zone’ would be some kind of limited, benevolent, humanitarian peace keeping operation. As here:

‘It is quite frankly an act of war and it is not a trivial matter . . . It would absolutely be harder than Libya . . . This is a much denser, much more capable defense system than we’d faced in Libya . . . I know it sounds stark, but what I always tell people when they talk to me about a no-fly zone is . . . it’s basically to start a war with that country because you are going to have to go in and kinetically take out their air defense capability’.

And of course, taking out ‘their air defense capability’ – and no-one but no-one is going to set up a ‘no-fly zone’ without doing this first, because suppressing ‘enemy’ air defences is just basic military doctrine for this kind of mission – means bombing. Lots and lots and lots and lots of bombing.



What a ‘no-fly zone’ looked like in Sirte, Libya, October 2011

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