Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clinton leaves with some words on Syria

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a parting warning Thursday about Syria's civil war, accusing Iran of playing an increasingly prominent role in directing the violence, which she said heightened the danger of a larger regional conflict that draws in Israel or other neighbors.

"I've done what was possible to do," Clinton told reporters on the eve of her last day as secretary of state.

But she painted a harrowing picture of a war that could still get worse.

"The worst kind of predictions about what could happen internally and spilling over the borders of Syria are certainly within the realm of the possible now," she said.

The conflict "is distressing on all fronts," Clinton told a roundtable of journalists Thursday, a day before John Kerry is sworn in as her successor. She pointed the finger primarily at Iran, accusing it of dispatching more personnel and better military materiel to President Bashar Assad's regime to help him defeat rebel forces. Its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, is also playing a bigger role in the conflict.

Clinton stressed she in no way has softened her opposition to the United States providing weapons to Syrian rebels or intervening militarily.

The U.S. fears that if extremist groups get dangerous weapons, they could then use them against American interests or Israel.

She stressed that a political solution was necessary, and defended Syria's top opposition leader for suggesting this week that he'd be willing to negotiate with members of Assad's regime. The call provoked an outcry from rebels who insist that Assad must step down.

"I think I've done what was possible to do over the last two years in trying to create or help stand up an opposition that was credible and could be an interlocutor in any kind of political negotiation," Clinton said. "We've engaged in a steady drumbeat of activities and trying to put together a coalition and trying to find a way to get something through the Security Council that would serve as the international legal basis for further action to be taken by many countries."

Clinton leaves with some words on Syria 01/31/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  2. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  3. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  4. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  5. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman

    Health

    TAMPA — When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Throughout her battle with brain cancer, Beth Caldwell, 35, keeps her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7, on her mind.