U.S. not ready to enforce Syria no-fly zone

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Washington was “open to discussing a range of options with the Turks” but that a no-fly zone over Syria was not on the table “at this point.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Washington was “open to discussing a range of options with the Turks” but that a no-fly zone over Syria was not on the table “at this point.”

The United States is not ready to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria, the White House said Monday, after reports it was in talks with Turkey about setting up a refugee safe haven in the north of the country.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Washington was “open to discussing a range of options with the Turks” but that a no-fly zone over Syria was not on the table “at this point.”

Turkey has long supported the idea of creating a buffer zone inside Syria to accommodate refugees from the three-way fight between Bashar al-Assad’s regime, rebels and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadists.

But Ankara, which has seen fighting on its southern frontier, has so far failed to persuade its NATO ally Washington, despite U.S. jets already hitting IS targets inside Syria, to put its might behind the plan.

U.S. media reports over the weekend suggested that the U.S. stance was shifting after a visit to Turkey last month by Vice President Joe Biden, but Earnest insisted that this was not the case.

 
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