BRITTAINS ''OUTGOING'' HEAD OF ARMED FORCES... Syria no-fly zone needs ground control: UK military chief http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jDy4maRuqsS4-R4HQ8cfx-E6-sKA?docId=CNG.48df6d1731e3e97efb3f2614d4e37b8b.d1
Britain's outgoing head of the armed forces has warned that attempts
to impose a no-fly zone over Syria would be unsuccessful without
establishing ground control, in an interview published in Thursday's
Daily Telegraph.Britain is at the forefront of international
efforts to topple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and has
promised to supply rebels with equipment to protect them against
chemical weapons attacks.
But in his interview with the Telegraph,
General David Richards said: "If you wanted to have the material impact
on the Syrian regime's calculations that some people seek, a no-fly
zone per se is insufficient."You have to be able, as we did successfully in Libya, to hit ground targets. You have to take out their air defences."Richards
stressed that a "ground control zone" would need to be established and
that tanks and armoured personnel carriers would have to be "taken out"."If
you want to have the material effect that people seek you have to be
able to hit ground targets and so you would be going to war if that is
what you want to do," he added.A lack of international consensus
and the splintered nature of rebel forces made it difficult to forge a
military solution, the 61-year-old general added.Richards retires on Thursday after a military career spanning more than 40 years.
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