Top of the Morning: France Backs No Fly Zone for Syria; Afghan Military Suffering Internecine Fighting

Top stories from DAWNS Digest

France Backs Bid for No-Fly Zone in Syria

The big caveat here is that France said it would only participate in a No Fly Zone that is legitimized by international law, meaning that a Security Council vote would be probably be required. Still, this is a significant change in rhetoric. “France signaled Thursday that it was prepared to take part in enforcing a partial no-fly zone over Syria, piling pressure on President Bashar Assad’s embattled regime as it widens a major offensive against rebels in Damascus and surrounding areas. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged the international community to consider backing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria, but cautioned that closing the Arab nation’s entire air space would be tantamount to “going to war” and require a willing international coalition that does not yet exist. He told France 24 television that Paris would participate in a full no-fly operation if it followed international legal principles. But for now, he suggested that a partial closure — which U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was considering — should be studied.” (ABC

Attacks on Afghan Troops by Other Afghan Troops Are on the Rise

Afghans are attacking their western trainers…and each other. “Even as attacks by Afghan security forces on NATO troops have become an increasing source of tension, new NATO data shows another sign of vulnerability for the training mission: even greater numbers of the Afghan police and military forces have killed each other this year. So far, Afghan soldiers or police officers have killed 53 of their comrades and wounded at least 22 others in 35 separate attacks this year, according to NATO data provided to The New York Times by officials in Kabul. By comparison, at least 40 NATO service members were reported killed by Afghan security forces or others working with them. Both figures fall under what officials call insider attacks, and both numbers have climbed sharply over the past two years, Western officials say. But while officials say that a vast majority of attacks on Western forces are born out of outrage or personal disputes, the Afghan-on-Afghan numbers are said in larger part to reflect a greater vulnerability to infiltration by the Taliban.” (NYT