Trump's Syria Airstrike Was Suggested By Hillary Clinton
Clinton spoke about her ideas on Syria at the Women in the World Summit in New York City on Thursday evening.
Four hours after she stopped speaking, Trump announced he had ordered a military strike on a Syrian airfield from which President Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical attack earlier this week.
Clinton addressed Syria at her hour-long interview onstage at Women in the World.
She had experience working on the Syrian crisis in her term as secretary of state under President Barack Obama.
"I believe then, I've said this repeatedly, that I thought we should've done more at that point," Clinton said about her initial dealings with Syria. "I think we should've been more willing to confront Assad."
The former secretary of state explained that in the early stages of the Syrian crisis, Russia was not involved and Iran was sending forces on the ground.
But, Clinton said,
Assad had an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of the civilian deaths as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days. I really believe that we should've -- and still should -- take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them.
This was, in fact, the exact strategy Trump took in his announcement several hours later.
Trump announced he ordered a strike against an airfield to stop chemical attacks from Assad.
Clinton said she supported a no-fly zone after she left her position as secretary of state, and she supported that stance throughout the election.
During the election, people would ask if she was afraid of Russia with that stance. Clinton said on Thursday evening,
I actually had a lot of confidence that I could say to Putin and his team, 'Look, you're either with us or against us on this no-fly zone, here's what we're gonna do: We don't want any confrontation with you, but we cannot let this massacre continue and the consequences that are affecting this entire region.' I feel pretty strongly about where we are now and what happened in these last days with neurotoxin, probably, sarin gas.
Clinton concluded her discussion on Syria by saying it was necessary for the United States to get involved as we're living in "an interconnected, interdependent world."
Plus, she explained, we should get involved because of America's strong-stated stance against the use of chemical weapons.
We thought, you know, with the deal that the Obama administration negotiated, that we'd gotten rid of their stocks, but who knows whether they'd hidden some or whether they'd bought more? We don't know. We just know the impact. And so it is in our interest-- we've got to start once again recognizing norms of behavior in our own country and globally are just as important to keeping peace and preventing atrocities as any law that is written down. People have to know that they will be held accountable as war criminals, as committing crimes against humanity, if they engage in these kinds of aggressive, violent acts.
It sounds as if Trump was listening.