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Iran rejects calls for Syrian no-fly zone


Syria

Iran rejects calls for Syrian no-fly zone

Fresh calls from Syrian rebels for for a no-fly zone over the country have been dismissed by Iranian authorities.

The head of the main opposition group in exile wants the measure to protect civilians in border areas, but Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman described the idea it as an “ominous US-Israeli conspiracy.”

“What we’re hearing about is paving the way for a military conflict. This is an alert to the region to be vigilant,” said Ramin Mehmanparast.

On Monday the US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, said he was confident Washington could successfully enforce a no-fly zone over Syria, but stressed that no decision for such a major policy change had been made.

A similar move by NATO and Arab allies helped Libyan rebels overthrow Muammar Gaddafi last year. Now many people who have fled the fighting say similar action is required.

Scuffles broke out as more than 50 Syrian refugees tried to tear down an enclosure fence at Jordan’s first tent city, saying they wanted to flee.

“When we entered the tent we couldn’t sleep because of dust, I couldn’t breath, we made a mistake to come in here, we are dying slowly here,” complained Um Milhem, a newly arrived refugee from Derra.

Although such intervention seems a distant prospect, open discussion of establishing humanitarian corridors is the closest Washington and Turkey have come to suggesting direct military action.

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