Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No-Fly Zone Over Syria Would Constitute 'Act Of War'

U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, who recently took charge as NATO supreme allied commander Europe, traveled to Naples, Italy, on May 30 and 31 to visit with Navy leaders and sailors as he begins making the rounds of U.S. and NATO bases under his command. He sat down with Stars and Stripes for an interview May 30. SANDRA JONTZ/STARS AND STRIPES

Rather than a quick and relatively painless affair, any effort to dismantle Syria’s air defenses as part of enforcing a no-fly zone would be tantamount to a declaration of war, cautioned NATO’s new military chief, Gen. Philip Breedlove.
“It is quite frankly an act of war and it is not a trivial matter,” said Breedlove, NATO’s new supreme allied commanderr and head of U.S. European Command, during a recent Thursday to Naples, Italy.
“It would absolutely be harder than Libya,” said Breedlove, referring to NATO’s 2011 air bombardment that resulted in the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. “This is a much denser, much more capable defense system than we’d faced in Libya.”
“I know it sounds stark, but what I always tell people when they talk to me about a no-fly zone is … it’s basically to start a war with that country because you are going to have to go in and kinetically take out their air defense capability,” Breedlove said.

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