Washington, DC– Speaking at a rally in Florida last weekend, President Trump echoed his earlier statement from January that he intends to establish safe zones in Syria with the financial support of the Gulf States.

In Defense of Christians (IDC) commends President Trump’s apparent commitment to safe zones in Syria, which would be a crucial first step toward ending the conflict in Syria.

The United Nations estimates that more than 9 million people have been displaced by the civil war in Syria with almost 5 million living in areas that are under siege.

The establishment of safe zones across Syria, where people would be protected from Bashar al-Assad’s regime and ISIS, would alleviate the suffering and displacement of millions of Sunni Syrian refugees across the Middle East, as well as address the immense pressure being placed on Jordan and Lebanon, the latter being in great danger of becoming destabilized.

IDC also commends President Trump for calling on financial support for the operation from the Gulf states.

As IDC stated in January, “IDC further urges those states with the means, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, to contribute materially to the safe relocation of refugees from Lebanon, Jordan, and elsewhere into havens in Syria.  Similar steps should be taken to help ISIS victims in northern Iraq.  These nations should also take the lead in the funding the reconstruction of these communities.”

“The fact that among his first phone calls to the Middle East were to the king of Saudi Arabia and the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates to build support for safe zones suggests that he is serious,” said IDC’s Senior Adviser Andrew Doran in reference to President Trump’s January calls to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

IDC also calls on the Trump administration to designate a Nineveh Province Safe Zone to protect the religious and ethnic minorities of the region who have suffered genocide, including Yazidis, Christians, and Turkmen. The safe zone would include Tal Afar, Sinjar, and the Nineveh Plain.

“President Trump has said that he will take steps to protect Christians in the Middle East—this can begin with the creation of a safe zone in Nineveh Province to help those persecuted religious minority communities to rebuild their lives,” said IDC’s President Toufic Baaklini.

Several months ago, as displaced Yazidis and Christians returned to their homes after ISIS was driven back toward Mosul, they found their homes destroyed—such was the ISIS commitment to drive Christians and others from the region forever. The U.S. and its allies should not permit ISIS to complete its genocide, driving Christians and others out of the region permanently.

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