Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night reiterated her support for a “no-fly zone” in Syria, saying that imposing one “could save lives and could hasten the end of the conflict.”
The remarks during the third presidential debate in Las Vegas are at odds with comments she made in a 2013 speech, when she is quoted as saying that imposing a no-fly zone would mean taking out air defense systems, including in populated areas, and that in doing so “you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians.”
Clinton acknowledged in the debate with Donald Trump that there were “really legitimate concerns” about the implications of enforcing such a zone, but suggested that the matter could be negotiated with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies.
After she said during a broad response to a question about the fight against ISIS that she would “continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria,” moderator Chris Wallace brought her back to the topic.
“Secretary Clinton, you have talked about, in the last debate and again today, that you would impose a no-fly zone to try to protect the people of Aleppo and stop the killing there,” he said.
Wallace noted that President Obama is opposed to the idea “because he fears it’s going to draw us closer and deeper into the conflict,” and that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, has warned that imposing a no-fly zone may lead to war with Syria and Russia.