Obama: Russia's headed for a quagmire in Syria

Russia, he predicted, would get stuck in a “quagmire,” adding, “It just won’t work, and they’re going to stay there for a while.”

Saying Syria’s civil war doesn’t directly involve the United States — but instead pits Assad’s forces against rebel groups — Obama admitted elements of his strategy had failed. A plan to train and equip opposition forces, which resulted in only a handful of trainees, “did not work the way it was supposed to,” Obama said.

But asked whether he now backs no-fly zones in Syria — which his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, recommended this week — he warned against “easy, low-cost answers” to ending the war.

Instead, Obama insisted that the only solution was diplomatic, raising the possibility of a brokered deal to remove Assad from power.