World

Set up 'safe zones' for refugees: US

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States would set up "interim zones of stability" to help refugees return home in the next phase of the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al Qaeda.

The top US diplomat did not make clear where these zones were to be set up. He was addressing a meeting of 68 countries and organisations in Washington.

Although it was unclear how the zones would work, creating any safe havens could ratchet up US military involvement in Syria and mark a major departure from ex-president Barack Obama's more cautious approach.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Joseph Scrocca said the US military had not yet received direction to establish any kind of "zones".

A final statement at the end of the meeting did not mention the possibility of safe zones. - REUTERS

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