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Turkey asks NATO allies to enforce Syria no-fly zone

Erdogan addressed a NATO parliamentary assembly meeting in Istanbul on Monday [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 21 November, 2016

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While East Aleppo is mercilessly bombed, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the US and allies to enforce a no-fly zone.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the US and other allies to re-assess his country's proposal for the creation of a no-fly zone in northern Syria as East Aleppo is subject to ferocious bombing by Russian and regime war planes.

Addressing a NATO parliamentary assembly meeting in Istanbul on Monday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan again criticised allies' reliance on Syrian Kurdish fighters to battle the Islamic State group.

"I hope that in the upcoming process, this will be reassessed especially by the United States and positive steps will be taken so that terrorism's back is broken and Turkey is rid of the threat of terrorism," Erdogan said.

Turkey considers the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces' fighters an extension of outlawed Kurdish militants in Turkey.

Although Turkey has repeatedly called for secure zones to protect Syrians, Washington has been unwilling to wade too deeply into the conflict.

Imposing a no-fly zone of the sort introduced in northern and southern Iraq after the first Gulf War would require neutralising Syria's air defense systems.

Russia has deployed the sophisticated S-300 ground-to-air defense system in the war-torn country, making that prospect much tougher.

Last month, the UN Security Council considered a French-drafted resolution imposing a ceasefire in Aleppo and putting an end to all military flights over Syria's war-battered city.

The measure was the latest bid to pile pressure on Russia and its Syrian ally to halt an air campaign in Aleppo, which had triggered global outrage, in particular over the bombing of hospitals.

It also aimed at giving new impetus to US-Russian efforts to cooperate in ending the five-year war in Syria that has killed 300,000 people and driven 12 million people from their homes - half of the country's population.

Of those, more than 2.5 million are refugees currently hosted by Turkey.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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