Damascus: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is renewing her proposal for a no-fly zone in Syria, saying that it could be done by agreement between President Bashar Assad, his backers and the coalition fighting the Islamic State group.
Merkel said that such an agreement would be "a sign of goodwill" and would put many people at ease. She first aired her idea in an interview published Monday, without giving details.
At a news conference Wednesday, Merkel said it would be a good sign if "an agreement between Assad and his supporters and the anti-IS coalition" could produce a commitment to "set up a kind of no-fly zone in which there is no bombing, in which civilians are not pressured and killed" in the area between Aleppo and the Turkish border.
Earlier on Wednesday, a senior Russian diplomat had shrugged off Merkel's proposal to consider a no-fly zone over Syria, saying it can only be done with Damascus' consent.
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said in remarks carried by the Interfax news agency Wednesday that any no-fly zone would need to be approved by the Syrian government and endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.