US President Donald Trump is ordering the Pentagon and State Department to develop a series of “safe zones” in Syria, officials and media sources said on Wednesday.
According to monitors, the move could draw the US deeper into Syria’s 6-year-old civil war.
The safe zones in Syria are aimed at keeping IDPs within the Syrian borders and preventing a further refugee influx into Western countries.
“The safe zone mandate was tucked into the text of a draft version of a White House executive order, which bans refugees from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and other conflict zones from emigrating to the United States,” the Washington Times reported on Wednesday.
The order also institutes a revamped screening vetting process for all immigrants to the U.S.
The new Pentagon chief James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson 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.”
“It’s so sad, and we’re going to help people,” Trump said during a campaign stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania in December, while referring to the Syrian crisis. “We’ll build and help build safe zones in Syria, so people will have a chance,” he was cited by the New York Times as saying.
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