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If US wants to act in Syria, Turkey could be crucial ally

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Two of the ideas gaining attention in international humanitarian circles, which the group might consider: establishing “safe havens” for beleaguered civilian populations, akin to those NATO enforced in Bosnia in the early 1990s; creating a “buffer zone” inside Syria along the Turkish border for civilians.

The US has so far taken a cautious approach to such proposals, with administration officials insisting the focus remains on supporting the Syrian people without fanning the conflict’s flames.

For example, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland dismissed a proposal by Sens. John McCain (R) of Arizona and Joe Lieberman (I) of Connecticut for the US to consider arming Syria rebels. 

“As the president himself made absolutely clear, and as the secretary has continued to say, we don’t think more arms into Syria is the answer," she said. "We think the answer is to get to a national democratic dialogue, for the violence to stop, for the regime’s tanks to come out of the cities, and then for monitors to be able to go back in.”

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