WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump's push for making safe zones in Syria could force him to help make some risky decisions about how exactly far to venture to protect refugees, including shooting down Syrian or Russian aircraft or committing 1000s of U.S. troops, experts said.
Trump said on Wednesday he "will absolutely do safe zones in Syria" for refugees fleeing violence. According to a document seen by Reuters, they are expected while in the coming days to get the Pentagon as well as State Department to draft plans to make such zones in Syria and nearby nations.
The document didn’t show what could create a safe zone "safe" and whether or not it would protect refugees only from threats on the surface – such as jihadist fighters – or whether Trump envisions a no-fly zone policed by America along with its allies.
If this can be a no-fly zone, without negotiating some agreement with Russia Trump have to decide whether they should call allow the U.S. military the legal right to shoot down Syrian or Russian aircraft should they posed a threat to individuals that zone, which his predecessor, former Barack obama, refused to carry out.
"This essentially comes from a willingness to visit war to cover refugees," said Jim Phillips, a Middle East expert along at the Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington, noting Russia's advanced air defenses.
Trump promised during his campaign to focus jihadists from Islamic State, and has sought to avoid being dragged deeper into Syria's conflict – raising the question of whether might be satisfied by assurances, perhaps from Moscow, that neither Russian nor Syrian jets would discuss the zone.
In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Trump wouldn’t contact Russia and warned that the consequences of those an insurance policy "should be weighed up."
"It is necessary that this (the project) isn’t going to exacerbate the matter with refugees," he was quoted saying.
Phillips and other experts, including former U.S. officials, said many refugees couldn’t survive satisfied by assurances from Moscow, while any deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is also backed by Iran, may well not discuss well with America's Arab allies.
The Pentagon declined talk about Thursday, saying no thank you formal directive to build up such plans was passed yet, and many U.S. military officials appeared unaware of the document before seeing it described in media on Wednesday.
"Our department right this moment is tasked with one thing in Syria, and that is exactly to degrade and defeat ISIS," said Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
TENS OF A large number of TROOPS
Trump's require a insurance policy for safe zones is part of a larger directive expected to be signed in coming days that has a temporary ban of all refugees to your U . s . and also a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries deemed to pose a terrorism threat.
During and after the presidential campaign, Trump needed no-fly zones to harbor Syrian refugees instead of allowing them into the U . s .. Trump accused the Current of failing to screen Syrian immigrants entering the usa to ensure they’d no militant ties.
Any safe zone in Syria guaranteed because of the Usa would probably require some degree of U.S. military protection. Securing the garden soil alone would require a large number of troops, former U.S. officials and experts say.
Anthony Cordesman, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, cautioned that your safe zone inside Syria may be a diplomatic albatross which would force a Trump administration to juggle numerous ethnic and political tensions in Syria indefinitely.
Other experts said jihadists might be attracted to the zone, either to execute attacks that would embarrass the United States as well as to makes use of the zone like a safe home where militants could regroup.
Such a zone would not be expensive, because of the must house, feed, educate and provide medical treatment into the refugees.
"I do believe these people ever have no idea what must be done to help with 25,000 people, that’s a number, in terms of the (internally displaced) and refugees" in Syria, Cordesman said.
The draft document gave no specifications on what may constitute a good zone, where one is likely to be set up and who defend it.
Jordan, Turkey together with other neighboring countries already host millions of Syrian refugees. The Turkish government pressed Obama, without success, to create a no-fly zone on Syria's border with Turkey however was at odds with Washington over its support for Kurdish fighters in Syria.