Germany Calls to Impose Syrian ‘Safe Zones’ to House Refugees

Echoes Previous Comments From Turkey on Taking Parts of North Syria

Echoing plans which have chiefly been championed by Turkey for years, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for the establishment of “safe zones” inside northern Syria, which would be used to house refugees displaced by the nation’s civil war.

Merkel presented the idea as a way to keep Syria’s refugees out of Europe, something that was also clearly on Turkey’s mind, as they host millions of Syrian refugees at the moment and would clearly prefer to ship them to such “zones.”

Always unspoken in these schemes, however, is that establishing such zones would require a full-scale military invasion to conquer that territory, and retaining that territory would keep significant numbers of ground troops there for years.

As with Turkey, the German government is averse to absorbing any more refugees from the war, but almost certainly will not be willing to bear the costs of conquering territory to do it. The public calls, then, as mostly calls for other nations, mostly the US, to do the heavy lifting of starting a huge military endeavor for their sake.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.