White House says Syria no-fly zone would be costly and difficult

WASHINGTON Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:05pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Friday it would be dramatically more difficult and costly to set up a no-fly zone over Syria than it was in Libya, stressing that the United States does not have a national interest in pursuing that option.

"We feel like the best course of action is to try to strengthen a moderate opposition," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told a news briefing.

He said the United States did not want to send U.S. troops - or "boots on the ground" - to Syria and said enforcing a no-fly zone over the country could require intense, open-ended U.S. military engagement.

(Reporting By Laura MacInnis; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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