June 14 - The White House said on Friday that imposing a no-fly zone over Syria would be dramatically more difficult and costly than it was in Libya, stressing the United States does not have a national interest in pursuing that option. Mana Rabiee reports.
The White House on Friday played down the prospect of imposing a no-fly zone over Syria, saying the U.S. doesn't have a national interest in pursuing that option. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters a no-fly zone isn't a "silver bullet". SOUNDBITE: Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes Saying: "Frankly in Syria when you have a situation where regime forces are intermingled with opposition forces, they are fighting sometimes block by block in cities, that's not a problem you can solve from the air." The statement comes one day after the administration said it would now ARM rebels. But enforcing a no-fly zone, Rhodes said, could require intense, open-ended U.S. military engagement -- the sort of action NATO used to help topple Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. THAT kind of military action could be vetoed in the U.N. Security Council by Assad's ally, Russia. SOUNDBITE: Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes Saying: "We still continue to discuss with the Russians whether there is a way to bring together elements of the regime and the opposition to achieve a political settlement. We have no illusions that that is going to be easy." U.S. officials say President Obama will try to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to abandon support for Assad, when the two leaders meet at a G8 summit in Northern Ireland next week.