Trump calls for Syria safe-zones funded by Gulf countries

Trump calls for Syria safe-zones funded by Gulf countries
Trump called for safe zones in Syria during his election campaign but Thursday's comments mark the first time the president-elect has reiterated the proposal since he began receiving intelligence briefings
2 min read
16 December, 2016
Trump described the situation in Syria as 'so sad' [AFP]

US President-elect Donald Trump said on Thursday that he will look to create “safe zones” in Syria once he becomes president describing the situation in the war-torn country as “so sad”.

“When I look at what’s going on in Syria, it’s so sad, we’re going to help people. We’ll build and help build safe zones in Syria, so people will have a chance,” said Trump, addressing a crowd of supporters in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Thursday.

Trump also stated that the financial burden of creating safe zones should not carried by the US, but instead by wealthy Gulf countries.

Trumps statements mark a reiteration of themes touched upon during his controversial election campaign. However, Thursday’s proposal marks the first time he has repeated such proposals since he began receiving intelligence briefings.

In particular Trump has called for the creation of safe zones in Syria in order to prevent the movement of refugees into Europe; while simultaneously stating that his administration would seek to limit the entry of people from countries with a history of “Islamic extremism” from entering the US.

Trump’s comments came on the same day that evacuations from rebel-held east Aleppo began, with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad proclaiming a historic victory in the city.

During his election campaign Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “stronger leader” than current US President Barack Obama.

This affinity towards Moscow has led analysts to surmise that Trump will cut Washington’s already limited funding to Syrian opposition groups, and be more amenable to a future settlement in Syria that favours the Syrian regime negotiated through Moscow.