Syrian opposition asks diplomats for no-fly zone

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — Syrian opposition leaders are pressing diplomats at an international conference for a no-fly zone over Syria, but the U.S. and its European and Arab partners are expected to focus on economic sanctions instead.

Hassan Hashimi, general secretary of the opposition Syrian National Council, said the international community is still moving too slowly. He said he hopes to see a "tough stand" at Friday's so-called Friends of Syria conference in Paris, and a no-fly zone to prevent military forces "flying over defected soldiers and civilians and bombarding them."

Russia, a key Syrian ally, is opposed to any military intervention and isn't taking part in Friday's conference. U.S. and European diplomats are expected to threaten new sanctions on President Bashar Assad's regime if he fails to quickly implement a U.N.-brokered peace plan.