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World Muslim Body Backs Syria No-fly Zone

Published: 12/06/2013 12:18:26 AM GMT
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CAIRO - A global Muslim organization has thrown its weight behind proposals to set up a no-fly zone in Syria to stop daily atrocities committed by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's forces.“The benefit at least is that it (more)

CAIRO - A global Muslim organization has thrown its weight behind proposals to set up a no-fly zone in Syria to stop daily atrocities committed by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's forces.

“The benefit at least is that it will stop the regime from using aircraft against its own people,” Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), told The Daily Beast.

“And then of course it will have other effects from a military point of view as well,” he said.

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More than 80,000 people have been killed in two years of fighting between Assad's forces and opposition fighters.

The fighting has forced more than one million Syrians to flee their home to neighboring countries in addition to the displacement of two millions others inside the country.

The conflict has polarized the region, with some countries arming the opposition as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and others helping the Assad's regime as Iran and Iraq.

As efforts to solve the conflict have been fruitless, several countries have called for setting up a no-fly zone to help stop attacks against civilians by Assad's forces.

“We should get out of the vicious circle we've been living through since day one where the international community has consensus on what not to do but no consensus on what to do,” Ihsanoglu said.

The OIC support for a no-fly zone in Syria gives a momentum to efforts to solve the two-year conflict in the Arab country.

In 2011, the OIC championed calls for a no-fly zone in Libya to stop attacks against civilians by ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

As a result, a multi-state coalition was formed to lead the war against Gaddafi's forces, resulting in his ouster.

Assad's Exit

The OIC chief has reiterated opposition to any foreign military intervention in Syria.

“There is a need for political solution and there is a need for international consensus, otherwise the war in Syria will go on uncontrolled and nobody can control anything,” Ihsanoglu said.

“It will really bring horrors to the Middle East; it will destabilize the Middle East.”

The leader of the Muslim grouping has also rejected calls to arm the Syrian opposition.

“Arming any party of the fighting will just help more killing, more devastation, and will not create a solution,” he said.

Last week, the European Union agreed to lift an arms embargo on the Syrian opposition, while maintaining all sanctions on Assad's regime.

Ihsanoglu opines that Assad's exit from power would open the door for solving the Syrian crisis.

“There is a need to sacrifice, and it's not the nation that should sacrifice for its leader, but the leader who should sacrifice for the nation. It looks like this is part of the solution,” he said.

“He is responsible for that, no doubt,” the OIC chief said.“If you are using aircraft and heavy artillery against your people, you are responsible.”

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net




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