Speaking at a Florida rally in front of 9,000 people, President Trump announced on Saturday evening that the Gulf States will end up paying the cost of the Syrian safe zones he intends to establish, insisting those nations “have nothing but money.”
Recent reports had suggested the Trump Administration was having second thoughts on the safe zones scheme, but Trump presented it as a matter of decided policy at the speech, saying it would allow Syrians to “Stay there and life safely in their cities” for the duration of the civil war.
Trump did not offer any new details on how the scheme would work, nor any specificity on which Gulf states would be paying what for the plan. A bigger question though is whether these states have been consulted on paying for the program yet, as Trump had similarly suggested Mexico would pay for his border wall without getting Mexico to agree to it first.
While the safe zones were expected to be a costly effort, that was only part of the concern surrounding them, with bigger questions surrounding the large number of US ground troops needed to secure that area, and whether efforts to impose no-fly zones over such areas would bring the US into direct war with Russia and syria.