WASHINGTON - Potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pointed out her differences with President Barack Obama on Tuesday over his decision not to arm moderate Syrian rebels, as neighboring Iraq struggles to cope with extremist spillover from Syria.
"We pushed very hard. But as I say in my book, I believe that Harry Truman was right, the buck stops with the president," Clinton said in a CNN interview.
The former secretary of state said she, along with the then heads of the Pentagon and CIA tried but failed to persuade Obama to arm the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, but that the White House resisted.Clinton said it was not clear whether arming moderates in Syria would have prevented the rise of the al Qaida splinter group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has swept toward Baghdad aiming to build a Muslim caliphate across the Iraqi-Syrian border.
"It's very difficult, in retrospect, to say that would have prevented this," she said. She said it is too soon to tell whether American policy in Syria was a failure.