Allen West: Challenge 'Other Countries in Middle East' to Take Syrian Refugees

Alex Grubbs | July 28, 2016 | 2:37pm EDT
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Army Lt. Col. (ret.) Allen West, a

former member of Congress. (AP) 

( – Creating a safe zone and challenging other Middle Eastern countries to care for Syrian refugees is what America’s political leaders need to do, retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West told

West, who served in Kuwait and Iraq, called for leadership in the White House to implement measures for the Syrian refugees after a speech on Tuesday at the Young America’s Foundation’s National Student Conference in Washington, D.C.

Speaking with, West said, “Well, I think one of the most important things, you have to get a different person in the White House."

“I think if we had a situation where we created a safe zone to allow people to stay and provide whatever type of air-cover. And then also, we should challenge some of the other countries there – the Saudi Arabians, the Qatars, the others -- to take care of some of these refugees,” he said. asked West how America would pressure Middle Eastern countries to play a part in taking in Syrian refugees.

“It takes leadership, first and foremost, and I think that when you look at your foreign aid, that’s a great, you know, carrying the stick that you can use that I don’t think we have,” West responded.

“For whatever reason, [Germany’s] Angela Merkel and others, we have felt the desire that this is something that we have to take care of. I’m just concerned of the Trojan Horse effect,” said West.

Among the 6,726 Syrian refugees admitted into the United States since the beginning of FY 2016 in October, only 26 have been Christian.

“There’s without a doubt an imbalance of the fact that the Syrians, the Chaldeans, the Coptic Christians out of Egypt, for whatever reason, they’re being denied entry, as opposed to Syrian Muslims or others,” said West,  “and you see that also playing out in Europe.”

Syrian refugees entering Iraq. (AP) 

West also connected the poor Christian response in the 2012 election to the small number of Christian refugees admitted into the United States since that time.

“I will go back and say that in 2012, when you have millions of Christians who decided that they would not vote in that election – they stayed at home – well, look at what has happened because of that decision they made in 2012?” he said.

Secretary John Kerry announced at an end of a Ramadan Eid al-Fitr reception at the State Department that the United States will meet President Barack Obama’s 10,000 refugee goal by the end of the fiscal year in September.

West further noted that Jordan’s response to the refugee crisis is what Western leaders need to support.

“Jordan is doing an incredible job, and we should be supporting Jordan, as well as supporting Jordan in their fight against ISIS,” West said.

Jordan currently hosts over 650,000 Syrian refugees.

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