"We have to destroy ISIS," Donald Trump tells PEOPLE
After last week’s deadly attacks in Paris, the many U.S. presidential candidates have been divided on a strategy to fight ISIS, with Hillary Clinton declaring at the Democratic debate, “This cannot be an American fight.”
Now, Donald Trump is speaking out, saying he is firmly in favor of helping France as they launch an offensive on ISIS strongholds in Syria.
“We have no choice but to get involved with getting rid of ISIS,” he told PEOPLE exclusively on Tuesday. “We have to destroy ISIS.”
The Republican candidate, 69, also has an unconventional plan for dealing with the many refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, many of whom have migrated to Western Europe – and 10,000 of whom were granted entry to the United States this year.
He shared that plan at rally in Knoxville, Tennessee, Monday night, saying he would “build a big, beautiful safe zone” for the refugees.
“I think we should create a safe zone in Syria until these people can go back to the area they want to be,” he elaborated to PEOPLE. “A safe zone could be great. They would be given shelter and food and be taken care of. Multiple countries would contribute to making this happen. Where they are now, they’re migrating in Europe. When the cold weather comes people don’t know how it’s going to work. It’s a very sad situation.”
As for the potential difficulties in managing such a safe zone amidst threats from ISIS, Trump insisted, “ISIS wouldn’t want anything to do with it.”
The goal would also be, in part, to protect the U.S. and Western Europe from ISIS members using refugee status to gain entry at the borders.
“We shouldn’t allow people coming into the country when we don’t know who they are,” said Trump, referencing reports that one of the Paris attackers allegedly entered the European Union with a Syrian refugee passport. (ISIS is said to frequently embed with refugee groups.)
“People can’t just come into this country they could be a Trojan horse.”