The manifest dreadfulness of the Syrian refugee crisis requires the International Community to look at options in Syria which do not include the drain of its brightest and best to advanced countries around the world, and hence condemning Syria to terminal and irreversible decline. The Safe Zone concept recognizes that re-homing more than 5 million refugees is not a long term option for Syria — and that if nothing is done to reverse the outflow from Syria, this could grow by another 7 million who are currently displaced in Syria. The Safe Zone concept recognizes that the vast majority of Syrians want to remain in Syria or return to Syria if it is free of the tyranny of Assad and the terror of ISIL.
The concept of a Safe Zone in NW Syria, bounded by a line from Kilis in the North to Aleppo, south to Idlib and around to Ryhanli, as a ‘pilot’ scheme to re-invest in Syria in order to begin the reverse of the exodus of Syrians — especially the intelligentsia and young — could begin to create the conditions in Syria to enable refugees to return and start the prospect of some sort of civilized future for Syria. The Safe Zone is designed to restore hope to the Syrian people who have been attacked by Assad and now ISIL to a point where life in Syria is untenable for the vast population, and many are taking great risks to abandon their country, with the prospect of a better future, most especially in Europe. This pilot scheme should be seen as a bridgehead for Syrians to re-occupy their country as the viable alternative to the perceived life of peace and prosperity in Europe. If successful, the concept can be replicated in the south on the Jordanian border and beyond. At the same time the global fight against ISIL can begin in earnest in Syria, and the Safe Zone expanded into areas when liberated. There is nothing to lose by this option — the other options only offer comprehensive and total defeat and decline for the Syrian people.