Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Trump Orders Safe Zones in Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55366298

Syrian children at a temporary refugee camp in Syria/ AFP

Washington- U.S. President Donald Trump ordered on Wednesday the Pentagon and the State Department to come up with a plan to set up “safe zones” in Syria and to present it to the White House within 90 days, Reuters and AP reported.

The order would provide safe areas in Syria and in the surrounding region in which Syrian nationals displaced from their homeland can await firm settlement such as repatriation or potential third-country resettlement.

Reuters reported that creating “safe zones” is a move that could risk escalation of U.S. military involvement in Syria’s civil war.

The executive order also shows that Trump intends to stop accepting Syrian refugees and suspend the U.S. broader refugee program for 120 days.

Sources close to the White House said the president also plans to suspend issuing visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for at least 30 days as those countries witness ISIS activities and are exporters of “radicalism.”

Trump’s order temporarily bars refugees from Syria and other countries unless they are persecuted religious minorities.

Separately, Trump vowed to save the lives of thousands of people and to create jobs for millions by taking his first step towards building a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

“A nation without borders is not a nation,” Trump said.

During a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, the president said: “Beginning today the United States of America gets back control of its borders. We are going to save lives on both sides of the border.”

The wall is expected to cost around $8 billion, while congressional aides say there is about $100 million of unspent appropriations in the Department of Homeland Security account for border security, fencing and infrastructure.

Trump announced the immediate constructing of the 652-miles wall stretching along the southern U.S. frontier with Mexico.

The president’s order also calls for hiring 5,000 additional border patrol agents and 10,000 more immigration officers.