Coun­ter­ing Clin­ton, San­ders op­poses uni­lat­eral U.S. no-fly zone in Syria

Sen­a­tor warns against ac­tion that ‘could get us more deeply in­volved’

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION - BY JOHN WAG­NER AND ANNE GEARAN john.wag­ner@wash­ anne.gearan@wash­

bos­ton — Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) said Satur­day that he op­poses a uni­lat­eral Amer­i­can nofly zone in Syria, of­fer­ing a less hawk­ish stance on the war-torn re­gion than Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton, his chief ri­val for the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nomi- na­tion, and a po­si­tion more in line with Pres­i­dent Obama.

“We must be very care­ful about not mak­ing a com­plex and dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion in Syria even worse,” San­ders said in a state­ment to The Washington Post. “I sup­port Pres­i­dent Obama’s ef­forts to com­bat ISIS in Syria while at the same time sup­port­ing those in that coun­try try­ing to re­move the bru­tal dic­ta­tor­ship of Bashar As­sad.”

But, San­ders added: “I op­pose, at this point, a uni­lat­eral Amer­i­can no-fly zone in Syria, which could get us more deeply in­volved in that hor­ri­ble civil war lead to a never-end­ing U.S. en­tan­gle­ment in that re­gion.”

In a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view broad­cast Thurs­day, Clin­ton ad­vo­cated ad­di­tional air power to pro­tect civil­ians in the mul­ti­front war, in which Syr­ian rebels and in­ter­na­tional ad­vo­cates have said that air pa­trols in Syria’s north could give civil­ians a refuge from Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad’s bomb­ing raids.

“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,” the for­mer sec­re­tary of state said in the in­ter­view broad­cast late Thurs­day by NBC af­fil­i­ate WHDH in Bos­ton.

In the por­tion of the in­ter­view re­leased by the news sta­tion, Clin­ton did not elab­o­rate on which coun­tries should im­pose the no-fly zones or say pre­cisely that she would com­mit U.S. forces to the task. But dis­cus­sion of no-fly zones when she was in of­fice and af­ter­ward have pre­sumed that the United States would have to lead or be a ma­jor player in the ef­fort.

Clin­ton’s po­si­tion puts her in the same camp as some Republi- can con­tenders for the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, in­clud­ing for­mer Florida gover­nor Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Ka­sich.

In a news con­fer­ence Fri­day, Obama said that Clin­ton “is not half-baked in terms of her ap­proach to these prob­lems.” But he said that “there’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween run­ning for pres­i­dent and be­ing pres­i­dent. And the de­ci­sions that are be­ing made and the dis­cus­sions that I’m hav­ing with the joint chiefs be­come much more spe­cific and re­quire, I think, a dif­fer­ent kind of judg­ment.”

Obama said that “if and when she’s pres­i­dent, then she’ll make those judg­ments,” adding that “these are tough calls.”

The White House ap­proved lim­ited airstrikes against the Is­lamic State in Iraq and Syria more than a year ago. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has re­sisted go­ing fur­ther, say­ing ef­fec­tive en­force­ment to pre­vent As­sad’s planes from fly­ing would re­quire large amounts of U.S. re­sources and could pull the mil­i­tary fur­ther into an un­pre­dictable con­flict.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.