Kasich is not the first presidential candidate to endorse a no-fly zone: He joins both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in embracing the idea, among others.
“On the latter issue, on the last question that you asked, Hillary Clinton is not half-baked in terms of her approach to these problems”, Obama said. Advocates of a no-fly zone in Syria believe that the move would put similar pressure on President Bashar Assad and also protect the lives of civilians falling prey to barrel bombs dropped by government forces. Even as Obama has called for Assad’s ouster, he has not backed any direct US military action against the government.
“If and when she’s president, then she’ll make those judgments, and she has been there enough that she knows that these are tough calls”, he added.
Obama and Clinton fought an occasionally acrimonious Democratic primary battle in 2008 which largely revolved around Clinton’s vote for the Iraq War and more hawkish views than Obama.
In a statement on his campaign web site on Friday, Kasich claimed the Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria were a threat to civilians, refugees and regional stability.
Kasich says the zones would provide refuge for Syrians fleeing the civil war that has killed a quarter million people and displaced an estimated 4 million. But USA officials and Syrian opposition leaders have said the strikes hit areas not controlled by the Islamic State. “If any hostile aircraft should enter that, there will be a great effect to them”.
Russia’s actions in Syria and its attacks on the positions of the Islamic State against the backdrop of four years of inaction of the United States have undermined Washington’s reputation.
“Russia’s recent military build-up and intervention in Syria are neither meant to defeat ISIS nor to relieve the suffering of Syrian refugees”, Kasich said in a statement released Friday.