An internally displaced Syrian boy walks over rainwater in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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President Donald Trump's push to create safe zones in Syria could force him to make some risky decisions about how far to go to protect refugees, including shooting down Syrian or Russian aircraft or committing thousands of U.S. troops, experts said.During and after the presidential campaign, Trump called for no-fly zones to harbor Syrian refugees as an alternative to allowing them into the United States.Any safe zone in Syria guaranteed by the United States would almost certainly require some degree of U.S. military protection. Anthony Cordesman, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, cautioned that a safe zone inside Syria could become a diplomatic albatross that would force a Trump administration to juggle a host of ethnic and political tensions in Syria indefinitely.The draft document gave no details on what would constitute a safe zone, where one might be set up and who would defend it.
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