Aleppo Update: Donald Trump promises "safe zones" for Syrians as evacuations halt again

Aleppo Update: Donald Trump promises "safe zones" for Syrians as evacuations halt again
Source: AP
Source: AP

Evacuation efforts out of eastern Aleppo have been sporadic since Dec. 13, when a ceasefire was reached between Syrian government forces and rebels fighting to retain control of the city of Aleppo. The truce ended on Dec. 14 after fighting picked up again, and a new ceasefire was declared in an effort to allow the estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped in the city. That ceasefire, which began Thursday, was halted early Friday after a convoy leaving the city was hit with gunfire.

At a Pennsylvania rally, Donald Trump said "We're going to help people" in Syria.
Source: 
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Meanwhile, during a rally in Pennsylvania as part of his ongoing "thank you" tour Donald Trump finally broke his silence on the devastation coming from Aleppo. The president-elect, who has called for "extreme vetting" of immigrants from countries that support terrorism and has been criticized for his dishonest rhetoric about the realities of Syrian refugees, told rallygoers that under his presidency, the U.S. would build "safe zones" for civilians forced to flee their hometowns.

Syrians gather around a government bus to evacuate Aleppo.
Source: 
Uncredited/AP

"When I look at what's going on in Syria, it's so sad," he told the crowd in Hershey, Pennsylvania. "It's so sad, and we're going to help people." According to the New York Times, Trump said he'd ask Persian Gulf nations, which includes Iran and Iraq, to put in money for a project to "help build safe zones in Syria, so people will have a chance."

The Times noted that Trump had suggested building these safe zones during his campaign, but this is the first time he's made the suggestion since he began receiving intelligence briefings — which he has said he doesn't need every day. During his campaign, Trump suggested the creation of safe zones for Syrian refugees with the intent to keep them out of the U.S. and Europe.

The Syrian government, with extensive help from Trump-friendly Russia, has been bombing Aleppo almost non-stop in an attempt to extinguish rebel control over the city.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Talia Jane

Talia Jane is probably a human and definitely a writer covering trending and breaking news. Find her on Twitter at @itsa_talia

MORE FROM

What does Sean Spicer’s resignation mean for the rest of Trump’s inner circle?

Many are already wondering if Spicer's departure could portend more shakeups to come.

How the messy New York City subways are hurting vulnerable New Yorkers the most

The New York subway system is a mess — and here's who's suffering the most.

Is Sean Spicer the shortest-serving White House press secretary in history?

Spicer served just six months as press secretary — there are some cabinet members in White House history who have served mere days.

5 stories from this week that aren't about OJ Simpson or Sean Spicer

The White House will be forced to release logs from Mar-a-Lago, and Democrats finally have an agenda.

According to Anthony Scaramucci’s Twitter, he believes in climate change and voted for Barack Obama

He also supports same-sex marriage. And abortion rights.

Trump is reportedly looking into pardoning himself. Here’s why that could backfire.

Can the president really pardon himself?

What does Sean Spicer’s resignation mean for the rest of Trump’s inner circle?

Many are already wondering if Spicer's departure could portend more shakeups to come.

How the messy New York City subways are hurting vulnerable New Yorkers the most

The New York subway system is a mess — and here's who's suffering the most.

Is Sean Spicer the shortest-serving White House press secretary in history?

Spicer served just six months as press secretary — there are some cabinet members in White House history who have served mere days.

5 stories from this week that aren't about OJ Simpson or Sean Spicer

The White House will be forced to release logs from Mar-a-Lago, and Democrats finally have an agenda.

According to Anthony Scaramucci’s Twitter, he believes in climate change and voted for Barack Obama

He also supports same-sex marriage. And abortion rights.

Trump is reportedly looking into pardoning himself. Here’s why that could backfire.

Can the president really pardon himself?