Merkel supports no-fly zone in Syria

German Chancellor Merkel says she is in favour of establishing no-fly zone in Syria which would help current situation

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the donors Conference for Syria in London, Britain February 4, 2016.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she supports the idea of a no-fly zone in Syria, according to a German regional newspaper, cited by Reuters.

"In the current situation it would be helpful if there was an area there in which none of the warring parties carry out attacks by air - so a type of no-fly zone," Merkel told the daily Stuttgarter Zeitung in an interview.

The interview is due to be published on Tuesday.

Turkey has long pushed for a safe-zone inside Syria to shelter Syrian civilians from attacks by both the Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad and DAESH terrorist group.

However, the United States, leading the international coalition that has been pounding DAESH targets in Iraq and Syria, has so far been reluctant.

Late in 2015, Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, emphasised that Turkey wanted a safe haven where Syrian people fleeing attacks and air bombardments could feel secure.

He said, without a safe haven, the most massive refugee flows out of Syria throughout the country's civil war occurred during relentless air bombardments by the Assad regime on cities like Aleppo.

"If our request for a safe haven that dates back to late 2011 were accepted then, we would not have seen such a massive number of refugees seeking shelter in other countries," he said.

Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their country fled Syria in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.

Syria’s civil war has lasted for over four years. Around 470,000 Syrians have died since 2011, while over 7 million have been externally displaced, mainly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

Turkey has been hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees with more than 2.7 million people and has spent more than 8 million dollars so far from its own resources, according to Turkish authorities.

TRTWorld and agencies