Why “no-fly zones” or “IS-free zones” are not a solution in Syria

There is a renewed push to establish “no-fly” and “IS-free” zones in Syria. An external military intervention to establish such zones, even with the good intention of protecting civilians, is likely to precipitate more chaotic fighting and further harm civilians. Instead, the international community should build a minimum consensus among the “Friends of Syria”, Russia, and Iran to accommodate the interests and concerns of Syria’s external stakeholders, and reconcile the existential fears of various communities and regime supporters in Syria with the aspirations of the country’s majority Sunni population. Once these fundamental issues are addressed, a political solution to the Syrian crisis will become possible.