In all the noise around Donald Trump’s presidency, his “Syria Safe Zones” plan has not received the attention it deserves. It is the most sensible, safe and humanitarian option for solving the refugee crisis. Syrians even offer their cooperation to the Trump Administration. However at this moment Turkey is threatening to attack them. That attack could destroy the possibility of creating President Trump’s Safe Zones any time soon.
That would be tragic. The Safe Zones Plan puts people’s basic needs first, offering them protection from violent attack, and crucial food and medicine. Trump rightly places this as a higher priority than complex (and likely doomed) peace talks. Trump would create safe zones inside Syria where the people who are fleeing from active battle zones can find decent shelter and receive international aid.
Obviously these zones would be free of ISIS and their rival jihadists sponsored by Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Creating these zones would mean more stability in a larger part of Syria — a big step toward achieving peace. It is the right approach as it does not make the perfect the enemy of the good, but focuses on measures that will save lives immediately and reduce the zones of conflict. The gradual approach is in Syria preferable over a “grand bargain” that will likely never be reached.
So far efforts relating to refugees have focused on the UN Peace Talks (from which 25 percent of Syria was deliberately left out). This has created a situation in which the real needs of the Syrian were pushed aside, in favor of power politics driven by the country’s power-hungry neighbors. I have so often heard from experts that UN Peace talks must take priority over the war against ISIS, or achieving security for as many Syrians as possible.
This has created the rather schizophrenic situation in which the Obama Administration on the one hand supported the Arab elements in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the war against ISIS, while permitting the Turks to cripple the peaceful, tolerant government that backs the SDC with a harsh economic boycott. So the soldiers in the SDF who defend Christian Syrians and others from genocide do get limited air support, arms, and ammunition — while making do with inadequate food and medicine.
This article continues at [Stream.org] Syrian Christian Leaders Offer to Help Implement Trump’s Safe Zone Plan