Syria No-Fly Zones May Cause Escalation With Russia – Counter-NATO Summit

Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.

Enforcing the no-fly zone in Syria that Hillary Clinton advocates would require the destruction of Russia’s anti-aircraft missiles in the Arab republic which could lead to military escalation, speaker at ongoing Counter-NATO Summit in Warsaw Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) organization told Sputnik.

        The counter-NATO summit is taking place in Warsaw at the same time as the July 8-9 alliance’s official summit.

“In addition to the Ukrainian crisis, we now have Washington’s and NATO’s campaign aimed at toppling the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime. Russia, in its turn, won’t abandon Assad, and enforcing the ‘no-fly’ zone that Hillary Clinton advocates would require destruction of Russia’s anti-aircraft missiles, risking military escalation,” Gerson, who is Peace and Economic Security Program director at the AFSC, said on the sidelines of the summit.

He said that crises in Ukraine and Syria were reminders of the fact that NATO was a nuclear alliance.

“The danger of a catastrophic nuclear exchange did not disappear. NATO yet again states that it will not leave things at conventional armament,” Gerson said.

According to Clinton, “no-fly” zones that she proposed in 2015 over northern Syria close to the border with Turkey could contribute to more safety for Syrians and their staying in the country rather than fleeing to Europe. US President Barack Obama has said imposing a no-fly zone in Syria to improve humanitarian situation in the region was counterproductive.Washington-led coalition of countries have been conducting airstrikes in Syria against Daesh, outlawed in in many countries, including the United States and Russia, since 2014. The West also largely stands opposed to Assad remaining in power. Moscow has also been targeting terrorists’ position with airstrikes in Syria, while maintaining support for the Syrian president.

The AFSC is a Quaker organization that promotes peace and justice both in the United States and globally. In existence since 1917, the organization won the Nobel Prize in Peace in 1947. Today, AFSC programs are aimed at eliminating violence and resolving conflicts around the world.