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    People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016

    Safe Zone in Syria Not in US National Security Interest - White House

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    White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said that it's complicated in practice to implement a safe zone in Syria.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Securing a safe zone in Syria would be complicated to implement and would not be in line with Washington’s national security interests, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Friday.

    "The president's long standing opposition to this so-called safe zone in Syria is predicated on the idea that while it sounds good, it's much more complicated in practice to implement it, it raises all sorts of questions," Earnest explained. "Trying to secure and patrol and in some cases be in the position of repelling attacks over such a large territorial area would not be consistent with our national security interests."

    Earnest noted that establishing a safe zone in Syria could possibly require the deployment of "thousands of military personnel" to monitor the area, which would mean a commitment of US ground forces, which President Obama has staunchly opposed.

    The White House spokesperson also said that a safe zone could partition Syria and warned that the term no-fly zone was "misleading" because it was unclear "how much safety and security that would bring anybody" since the situation on the ground is so unstable.

    In February, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the administration was considering establishing a safe zone in Syria in the border area with Turkey, but also noted that such a feat would require additional troops and was ‘complicated.’

    Russia and the United States reached an agreement on a ceasefire in Syria, which took effect on February 27 and does not apply to terrorist groups operating in the country.

    Earnest said that the ceasefire has so far proved "more durable" than most US administration officials had expected, and said that it had reduced the violence and allowed for humanitarian organizations to finally reached besieged areas in Syria.


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    safe zones, Syrian crisis, White House, Josh Earnest, Syria, United States
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