Russia could shoot down a U.S. aircraft if a no-fly zone were imposed over Syria, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said Tuesday. “I wouldn’t put it past them to shoot down an American aircraft if they felt that was threatening to their forces on the ground,” Clapper said, speaking with CBS’ Charlie Rose at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York about several national security issues.
Russia has deployed a very advanced and capable air defense system in Syria and would not have done that if it wouldn’t use it, Clapper said. The Obama administration has refrained from setting up a no-fly, or safe, zone for civilians in Syriapartly because of the complexity in staffing and enforcing it and the potential for direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Russia. FULL REPORT