Democrats, Republicans, and the International Community agree: Safe zones are necessary to protect Syrian families from the threat of aerial bombardment:
"In the current situation it would be helpful, if there could be such an area, where none of the parties are allowed to launch aerial attacks, that is to say, a kind of no-fly zone."
—Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
"A no-fly zone would also help dampen extremism by denying terrorist groups like ISIS a key recruiting tool: the West’s perceived indifference to their suffering."
—Amb. Muhamed Sacirbey, Former Bosnian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the U.N.
"I truly believe that what America ought to do right now is to immediately establish safe zones."
—Mike Pence, U.S. Vice President-Elect
"With the brutal Syrian conflict entering its fifth year, the Syrian people are facing a humanitarian nightmare of unspeakable proportions. More than 200,000 Syrians have been killed in the past four years, many of them children, and more than 12 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance. We urge that the United States work with key allies to establish and enforce one or more humanitarian safe zones in Syria without delay. These zones would provide essential protection for displaced Syrian civilians and a safe transit route for desperately needed humanitarian supplies."
— U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D), Lindsey Graham (R), Tim Kaine (D), and John McCain (R)
"While the broad outlines of what the president wants to do, I think the right ones, it’s not going fast enough. The pace is not going fast enough… I think we have to look for something to change the dynamic on the ground. And for me, that would be in the form of the safe zone, or a buffer zone, or no-fly zone. Something that can end the refugee flows, something that can give space and time to train up forces, to take on ISIS."
—U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, Ranking Member, House Intelligence Committee
"I personally would be advocating now for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to take stock of what’s happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees."
—Hillary R. Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State
"No-fly zones and safe harbors for populations are not “half-baked” ideas. They worked before (protecting the Kurds for 12 years under Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror) and warrant serious consideration. We will continue to have refugees until people are safe… It might just salvage our current, failing strategy. A serious commitment to these steps would also solidify our relationship with Turkey… In short, we must create a better military balance of power on the ground if we are to seek a political solution acceptable to us and to our allies.”
— Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S. Secretary of State; Robert Gates, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
- Donald J. Trump, President-Elect of the United States
- Mike Pence, Vice President-Elect of the United States
- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee
- U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Chairman, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
- Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
- Gov. John Kasich (R-OH)
- Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL)
- Hillary R. Clinton, Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Nominee for President
- Tim Kaine, U.S. Senator (D-VA) and 2016 Democratic Nominee for Vice President
- John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State
- Adam Schiff, Ranking Member, U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- Dick Durbin (D-IL), Minority Whip of the U.S. Senate
- Leon Panetta, Former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA