‘Safe Zones’ in Syria Despite Fears of Deeper U.S.
Involvement in War
By Carlo Muñoz
Trump is ordering the Pentagon and State Department to
develop a series of “safe zones” in Syria, a move that
administration critics claims could draw the U.S.
military deeper into the country’s civil war.
The safe-zone mandate was tucked into the text of an
executive order signed Wednesday by Mr. Trump that
establishes curbs on the flow of refugees from Iraq,
Syria, Libya, Yemen and other conflict zones from
migrating to the United States. The order also
institutes a revamped screening process for all U.S.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Rex Tillerson, Mr.
Trump’s pick to be secretary of state, will have 90 days
to submit a blueprint to the White House on the
establishment of “safe areas in Syria and in the
surrounding region in which Syrian nationals displaced
from their homeland can await firm settlement,”
according to a copy of the order, obtained by The
As president, Barack Obama resisted calls for the safe
zones along the borders of Syria, designed to be a
protective shield for Syrian refugees fleeing the
violence, for fear that the U.S. would be forced to
defend the zones in a war in which Syrian rebels,
Islamic State militants, Kurdish militias and soldiers
from Iran, Lebanon, Russia, Turkey and Iraq are all
Supporters said the zones were a humanitarian imperative
in a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and could
serve to contain the throng of refugees who have flooded
Jordan, Turkey, Greece and much of Western Europe as the
conflict has ground on.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump backed safe zones, as
did his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“It’s so sad, and we’re going to help people,” Mr. Trump
said during a December rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
“We’ll build and help build safe zones in Syria, so
people will have a chance.”
But questions over oversight and enforcement of the safe
zones have raised concerns among national security
officials and private analysts, who argue that such a
commitment would tie down American and allied forces in
the country indefinitely.
“Right now, for us to control all of the airspace in
Syria, it would require us to go to war against Syria
and Russia, [and] that’s a pretty fundamental decision
that certainly I’m not going make,” Gen. Joseph F.
Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told
Congress in September.
Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.
Trump to sign
executive order banning Syrian refugees from US:
Trump also wants to suspend issuing visas for people
from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen
for at least 30 days, according to the draft.
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