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Clinton: 'We have confronted the Russians' on Syria

“We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria,” said Clinton during a joint discussion with Israeli President Shimon Peres that was hosted by the Brookings Institution. “They have from time to time said we shouldn't worry, everything they're shipping is unrelated to their actions internally. That's patently untrue, and we are concerned about the latest information we have, that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”

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Clinton said the outer limit of the timeline to decide whether the U.N. plan is successful is mid-July. The plan is being overseen by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. 

Clinton added that if there is no discernible change from the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by the set deadline, it will be difficult to extend the mission. 

"I think that the challenge faced by so many … is what one can realistically do to try to bring an end to the violence without seeing an increase in the activities of certain elements of the opposition that could lead to even greater violence and the likelihood of the civil war that we’re all trying to avoid," Clinton said.

The secretary of State also said the United States had received reports that the Assad regime appears to be preparing for an assault against the northern city of Aleppo, near the Turkish border.

"That could very well be a redline for the Turks in terms of their strategic and national interests, so we’re watching this very carefully," she added.

Clinton said the challenge moving forward is to ensure a government transition in Syria without spurring more violence and internal conflict.

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on The Hill's Global Affairs blog.

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