0820 GMT October 22, 2018
“We need to be putting together a coalition to support a no-fly zone,” Clinton said Tuesday at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa. “I think it’s complicated and the Russians would have to be part of it, or it wouldn’t work.”
Clinton maintained that a no-fly zone was required inside Syria to stabilize fighting and stop the outflow of refugees.
“First, we've got to sort it out. Our goal has to be to end the conflict, protect the people on the ground, go after ISIS, got a diplomatic solution that ends with departure” of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, she argued.
Clinton, however, said that the situation in Syria has become “incredibly complex” since Russia got involved.
Russia has been beefing up its military presence in Syria, deploying warplanes, tanks and personnel to an airfield in the western port city of Latakia. It last week launched a coordinated air campaign to fight Daesh (ISIL) and other terrorists.
President Barack Obama distanced himself Friday from the idea of a no-fly zone, saying there were no “easy, low-cost answers” to the Syrian crisis.
Obama dismissed Clinton’s suggestion as merely campaign rhetoric, and said his former secretary of state would change her perspective if she becomes president.
“I think Hillary Clinton would be the first to say that when you're sitting in the seat that I'm sitting in in the situation room, things look a little bit different. Because she's been right there next to me,” he said.
Russia has also rebuffed calls for a no-fly zone inside Syria.
A no-fly zone would breach Syrian sovereignty and “isn’t based on the UN Charter and international law,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Tuesday.