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Syrian opposition calls for no-fly zone as violence rages

(Xinhua)

14:57, August 13, 2012

DAMASCUS, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- A Syrian opposition leader in exile called on Sunday for a no-fly zone in border areas as fighting continued escalating between government forces and rebels across the Mideast country.

Abdelbaset Sieda, president of the Syrian National Council, said the international community should impose a no-fly zone near Syria's borders with Jordan and Turkey in order to counter air attacks by government troops.

The Syrian opposition has made such a plea for months, and Sieda renewed the call after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday in Turkey that no decision to set up a no-fly zone has been made.

"It's one thing to talk about all kinds of potential actions, but you cannot make reasoned decisions without doing intense analysis and operational planning," Clinton said after a meeting with her Turkish counterpart.

The imposition of a no-fly zone by foreign powers is believed to have played a crucial role in helping Libyan rebels overthrow Muammar Gaddafi last year. But the United States and its European allies have so far made no explicit statements on military involvement in Syria.
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