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Syria safe zone would require 'combat mission': US

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 6, 2015Creating a humanitarian safe zone in Syria would entail a “major combat mission” requiring US troops to fight Islamist jihadists and the Damascus regime, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told lawmakers on Wednesday. Turkey has long called for a safe area to be set up along the Syrian-Turkish border to protect civilians but President Barack Obama’s administration has yet to endorse the idea. “We would need to fight to create such a space and then fight to keep such a space and that’s why it’s a difficult thing to contemplate,” Carter told members of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. Carter was asked about the option by Senator Dick Durbin, one of four senators to send a recent letter to Obama calling for setting up a safe area in Syria.

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