Monday, October 31, 2011

NATO chief rules out no-fly zone for Syria

The Libyan rebels would never have succeeded in toppling Ghadafy if the US hadn't intervened with its drones and air strikes (and never openly declaring war.) Ghadafy's family is now suing NATO.

Meantime, Syria is the next country in the region to whom the US might...or might topple the government and replace it with...who knows? Sharia law?

From The Egyptian Gazette: NATO chief rules out no-fly zone for Syria
TRIPOLI - NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen ruled out the possibility of a no-fly zone for Syria, in remarks to an AFP correspondent as he travelled to the Libyan capital Monday on a surprise visit.

"It's totally ruled out. We have no intention whatsoever to intervene in Syria," Rasmussen said when asked if there was a possibility NATO would now spearhead a no-fly zone in Syria.
Rasmussen made a surprise visit to Tripoli hours before NATO's mission in Libya was due to end officially, seven months after Western powers fired the first barrage of missiles against Muammar Gaddafi's forces in an air war that played a major role in ousting the veteran dictator.

Just where is Syria?
Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest.

The name Syria formerly comprised the entire region of the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the site of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the third millennium BC. In the Islamic era, its capital city, Damascus, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt.

The population of Syria is 74% Sunni Muslim, with a 13% Shia Muslim population, 10% Christian and 3% Druze. Combined, some 90% of the Syrian population is Muslim, which largely includes Arabs and significant minorities of Kurds and Circassians, while some 10% are Christians, which mainly includes ethnic Assyrians, but also Arab Christians and Armenians. The ethnic minorities include Kurdish (10%), Assyrian/Syriac, Armenian, Turkmen and Circassian populations, while the majority is Arab (90%).

The modern Syrian state was established as a French mandate and attained independence in April 1946, as a parliamentary republic. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–1971.

Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963–2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, and its system of government is considered non-democratic. Bashar al-Assad is the current president, and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office since 1971. The Syrian government is currently facing massive protests as part of the Arab Spring, and one government, that of Libya, has de-recognised it in favor of the opposition Syrian National Council.

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