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Hillary Clinton distances herself from Obama's foreign policy

Published on Aug 11, 2014 3:59 AM
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking during an event in Chicago, Illinois on June 11, 2014. In an interview with The Atlantic published on Sunday, Mrs Clinton said the US decision not to intervene early in the Syrian civil war was a "failure". -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Distancing herself from President Barack Obama's foreign policy, potential 2016 US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in an interview published on Sunday that the US decision not to intervene early in the Syrian civil war was a "failure".

Republican critics and others have faulted Mr Obama for doing too little to support Syrians who rose up against President Bashar al-Assad. Syria has been torn apart by a civil war for three years, with Mr Assad staying in power and Islamic militants among the opposition gaining strength.

"The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad - there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle - the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled," Mrs Clinton said in an interview with The Atlantic.

Mrs Clinton was Mr Obama's secretary of state during his first term as president, stepping down in early 2013, so she was part of the administration during the start of the Syria uprising. Seen as a possible strong contender for the 2016 US Democratic presidential nomination, she ran unsuccessfully against Mr Obama for the party's nomination in 2008.

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