Safe zones. Soon in Syria

Fially! Two full years after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced plans to create a safe zone in Syria, and an extra million people. including women, children and the elderly, were forcibly displaced, hope for an effective solution appears on the horizon!According to a Bloomberg news story, offered by Erdoğan, the safe zone would be the size of the Grand Canyon; and the campaign to create it would be the biggest foreign military intervention in modern history.

But no! Mr. Obama was busy planning his library and organizing a campaign to create it! It would be the biggest in the history of modern presidential libraries! Accepting 50,000 Syrian refugees (a mere drop in the bucket compared to what Turkey and Jordan have accepted), Obama appeased the collective consciousness in the country. Meanwhile, their boots on the ground and their ethnic and religious cleansing, the PKK’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) impacted more refugees. Moreover, let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands of people running away from their homes because of the Russian and Syrian government bombings.

Erdoğan renewed his plan last September when the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) entered Syria to push Daesh terrorists from the border area. Turkish forces have now cleared about a 900-square-mile sanctuary, half of the intended area. Erdoğan says a 2,000 -square-mile will be enough to host all the Syrian refugees. The Turkish army could provide security for the safe-zone and the U.S. and coalition air forces, operating from İncirlik Air Base, could provide air cover. The Syrian people who fled their homes might need to have the same arrangement along the Jordanian and Israeli border, as well.

If U.S. President Donald Trump agrees to what presidents Putin and Erdoğan have already agreed, then we will soon have U.S., Russian and Turkish security zones in Syria. These three powers can bring not only safe zones but also much needed military security to the country. This plan also makes one group unneeded on Syrian soil: the Iranian military and the Shiite militias supported by Iran and Hezbollah. Their leaving Syrian territory will make all the countries in the region more comfortable.

The U.S. commanders who advised the White House against such a plan for the last two years will now have to obey the president’s direct order, but at the same time will push him to expand safe areas to the east of the Euphrates, so that their beloved cantons can continue enjoying American protection. However, the Russian delegation to Astana agreed with Turkey that the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria should be protected. This seems enough to make Syria free of sectarian and ethnic dismemberment. Some sources say that the new deal will determine a safe zone on the Turkish border stretching along the entire Syria-Turkey border, going 35-50 kilometers into Syrian territory up to al-Bab. As it is, Turkish forces are about to push Daesh terrorists out of the town.

Will the whole region breathe a sigh of relief? Sure it will.


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