Trump says safe zones in Syria should have been built for combatting refugee crisis
NEW YORKWith only days for his inauguration, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said “safe zones” funded by the Gulf states should have been built inside Syria to combat the refugee crisis.
“I think we should have built safe zones in Syria,” said Trump in response to a question asking if he still viewed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy on refugees as “insane,” a phrase he had used during his campaign.
“Would have been a lot less expensive,” Trump said in an interview with the U.K.’s The Times and Germany’s Bild newspapers.
“Uh, get the Gulf states to pay for ’em who aren’t coming through, I mean they’ve got money that nobody has,” he said, adding that Merkel had made a “big mistake.”
Turkey has long argued for the need for a “no-fly” or “safe zone” zone along its Syrian border, with the aim of clearing Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants from the border and stemming a wave of migration that has fueled tensions in Europe.
But Western allies have so far balked at the idea, saying it would require a significant ground force and planes to patrol, marking a major commitment in such a crowded battlefield.