Syrian Rebels: We Need a No-Fly Zone

20 killed near Damascus yesterday
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2012 7:18 AM CDT
Syrian Rebels: We Need a No-Fly Zone
In this Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 file photograph, Syrians check the damage of a destroyed school after it was hit by an air strike killing six Syrians in town of Tal Rifat on the outskirts of Aleppo.   (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra, File)

(Newser) – As clashes continue in Aleppo and Damascus, a Syrian rebel leader is reaching out to the West for help: It's time for a no-fly zone, says Syrian National Council head Abdelbasset Sida. The opposition is making gains, "but the problem is the aircraft, in addition to the artillery bombardment, causing killing, destruction." Hillary Clinton acknowledged the possibility of such a need over the weekend, but says the move would require "intense analysis and operational planning," Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, more violence: Some 20 were killed yesterday as regime forces tried to reclaim a Damascus suburb, the opposition says. On Saturday, a journalist who'd defected from the Syrian Army was killed by a bomb near Damascus; a pair of bombs reportedly detonated by the rebels also went off in the city yesterday, though no one was hurt, the New York Times notes. And defections continue, with Homs' deputy police commander quitting the country for Jordan. (Read more Syrian National Council stories.)

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