Pentagon Has Doubts Over Trump’s ‘Ambiguous’ Syria Safe Zone Plans

Pentagon Has Doubts Over Trump’s ‘Ambiguous’ Syria Safe Zone Plans | Officials avoiding public comments on the matter

Pentagon officials are said to be full of questions today after reports of President Trump planning to order the State Department and Pentagon to develop plans within 90 days for the establishment of “safe zones” in Syria, unclear exactly what is being planned. The order has not, as yet been issued, and was absent from the final version of the refugee order it was initially reported to come from.

Publicly, officials are avoiding any comment at all on the idea, saying it is too early in the planning stages to discuss the idea. Privately, however, officials are being quoted in the press saying the whole idea is “ambiguous,” and that they aren’t sure if Trump wants secure camps in those zones, or no-fly zones, or both.

The question of safe zones has been heavily pushed by Turkey for years, with Turkish officials envisioning the idea of turning northern Syria into a region to house all the refugees they’ve had to take in during the civil war so far. The call has tended to fall apart, however, when people consider what it would take.

US officials have previously suggested it would take a massive ground force to secure this safe zone from attacks, and that even a limited no-fly zone would risk starting a war with Russia. This scared the Obama Administration away from trying anything.

And indeed, the no-fly zone idea was scorned by Trump during the debates, specifically over the risk of a war with Russia. At the same time, Trump has repeatedly insisted he wants to have safe zones as a humanitarian measure, but as for how this will work, it seems the Pentagon is as in the dark as the rest of us are. That Trump withdrew the order from his executive order may suggest he is even backing away from the idea entirely.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • richard young

    Hate to be boring, but haven’t any of these clowns (and the author) ever heard that “establishing safe zones’ in somebody else’s sovereign nation is a no-no?

    • Frank Discussion

      americans do not care. They are the scourge of the earth

  • Mark Thomason

    The order was not limited to inside Syria for safe zones. The order did not specify no-fly zones. The order was to plan, not to do it, which awaits seeing the plans and considering their various implications. It all awaits not just Trump, but Mattis and Tillerson, both of whom are understood to be sane.

    This idea is far less radical than what Hillary campaigned to do, which would have picked a fight with Russia and Iran with near certainty, and would have alienated our allies Turkey and Jordan to do it.

    What Trump has ordered is much better than what Democrats said they would do. If we oppose this, then we’d need to oppose Hillary and her Machine even more so.

    • Don

      Are you a Trump supporter of a propagandist? I don’t see any grammar or spelling mistakes so I think we should keep an eye on you.

    • ton

      You got a valid point there, mate.

  • deganawida

    So how far we from midnight? Is it still minutes or are we in the seconds now? Does it even matter anymore? Egads

  • ton

    “Safe zones / no fly zones” are OK as long as they are controlled or patrolled by the Syrian army and it’s INVITED allies. If done by other countries it would be an act of aggression and in violation if international law. Russia and China would most certainly veto such a resolution if brought before the United Nations.

  • TellTheTruth-2

    Rep Tulsi Gabbard has the answer with her bill to stop funding terrorists in Syria. That way PEACE will return and ALL of Syria will be a safe zone.

  • eric

    If I know Trump He will get Turkey , Germany and the EU to pay for the safe zone , Because if they don’t the refugees will move in with them any way ..He will get Russia and Syria to impose a no fly zone and he will get the Blue helmets to police the Donald Trump demilitarized safe zone . It would cost the United States not much more than our share of the expenses of the blue helmets in the U.N. which we are already obligated to pay for any way Aren’t you glad we have a smart president