Ankara, London- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he will bring up the issue of a no-fly zone with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump when the latter takes office next year, meanwhile the Free Syrian Army is fighting, supported by Turkish army, in the outskirts of al-Bab city in Aleppo province.
Speaking in Istanbul, Erdogan said he wanted a “terror-free safe zone” in north of Syria to protect the region that borders Turkey.
The President also added the formation of a new state in northern Syria would never be allowed.
Erdogan mentioned three border provinces in Turkey, Gaziantep, Kilis and Sanliurfa that because of ongoing insecurity were “hanging by a thread.”
Notably, Turkish forces are currently aiding the Free Syrian Army, or FSA, in north Syria through ground and air support, as part of Operation Euphrates.
Erdogan said that the FSA “is the epitome of moderate opposition in Syria … It has nothing to do with a terrorist organization, but it is precisely a resistance movement. They are trying to save their territory.”
The question of a no-fly zone in Syria has long been a hot-button issue, with Western Allies having argued in the past that such a measure should be used against the Syrian Army in the same way as the NATO-imposed no-fly zone decimated the armed forces of former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Russia on the other hand, has vetoed all proposals at the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone in Syria.
Since winning the election in November, Trump has revealed little detail on the U.S. role in the conflict, but on Thursday he said that “we’ll build and help build safe zones in Syria, so people will have a chance.”
However, some experts view such a proposal is not only difficult to achieve, but dangerous.