Hillary Clinton reiterated her unreserved support for both a “no-fly zone” and “safe zones” in Syria during Sunday’s presidential debate — but in a partial transcript of private remarks she made at a Goldman Sachs event in 2013, she acknowledged some of the complications involved.
Her comments were included in an 80-page report prepared by the Clinton campaign listing the most politically damaging quotes from Clinton’s paid speeches, which she has refused to make public. Among the recipients of that report was Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose hacked emails were posted by WikiLeaks on Friday.
In her remarks to Goldman Sachs, Clinton pointed to the Syrian government’s air defense systems, and noted that destroying them would take the lives of many Syrian civilians.
“They’re getting more sophisticated thanks to Russian imports. To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk—you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians,” she said. “So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”