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Citing Iraq Failures, Hillary Clinton Avoids Endorsing Syrian Rebels

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Citing Iraq Failures, Hillary Clinton Avoids Endorsing Syrian Rebels

Post  brianmoore on Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:14 am

The secretary of State inched closer Thursday to supporting opposition fighters in Syria but, citing America's recent failures abroad, still fell short of following other Western powers in acknowledging the opposition as the new Syrian government.

Parts of the war-torn country are at a "tipping point" following roughly 20 months of fighting, though the existing regime of Bashar al-Assad has not yet lost total control, Hillary Clinton told reporters and guests at a Foreign Policy event Thursday night.

She refused to join Britain and France in their recognition of the collection of opposition groups -- called the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces -- as the country's representative body.

"It appears as though the opposition in Syria is now capable of holding ground," she said. "They are better equipped and more able to bring the fight to the government forces."

"I don't know if you can say that for the entire country, it is yet at a tipping point. It certainly seems that the regime will be much harder pressed in recent months," she added.

The U.S. must adopt a sophisticated approach in choosing who to support within Syria, said Clinton, for fear of repeating mistakes the U.S. made after invading Iraq in 2003.

Supporting the opposition must be paired with endorsing local councils committed to "continuity" and "Syrian governmental institutions," she said, to ensure these institutional forces don't collapse.

US NEWS : http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/11/30/citing-iraq-failures-hillary-clinton-avoids-endorsing-syrian-rebels

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