Wicker Questions Military Panel About Syria

Miss. Senator Makes the Case for U.S. to Establish No-Fly Zone

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today told Secretary of Defense Ash Carter that establishing no-fly zones and safe zones in Syria would “allow (people) to stay in their own country rather than become refugees.” Wicker’s comments came during a committee hearing to examine U.S. strategy to combat ISIS, as well as the nation’s policy toward Iraq and Syria.

According to Secretary Carter, the Administration has not implemented a no-fly strategy for Syria because “the benefits do not warrant it in light of the costs.”

“These safe zones would allow Syrian opposition leaders to exercise sovereignty over Syrian territory,” Wicker countered. “The benefit that we could have had in the United States or in Europe not to be faced with this refugee crisis…would have been so enormous that it would have justified whatever cost we may have had to risk. It seems that having done so over time would have given Syrians a place where they could live in their own country safe from barrel bombs and attacks on civilians.”

Wicker believes that President Obama’s so-called strategy as it relates to Syria, as well as the fight against ISIS, has amounted to little more than half-measures. He continues to call on the Administration and defense officials to give the military the tools needed to ensure that ISIS not be allowed to get a permanent foothold in the Middle East.