Tuesday, August 16, 2011

US, allies stepping up pressure on Syria

White House spokesman Jay Carney

Source: Press TV

The United States says it is cooperating with its allies to step up the pressure on Syria, although Damascus insists that foreigners are fueling the unrest in the country.

On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “We are looking, together with a broad array of international partners, to increase pressure on [Syrian] President [Bashar] Assad,” AFP reported.

Leveling accusations against the Syrian head of state, Carney said, “By his actions he has demonstrated that he has lost legitimacy to lead, and the president has no doubt that Syria will be better off without him.”

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Hundreds of people have been killed in protest rallies that turned into armed clashes between alleged protesters and state security forces and in organized attacks by armed gangs targeting the Syrian security forces.

Washington says the Syrian government is responsible for the current situation in the country.

But the Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

In addition, Syrian state TV has broadcast reports showing seized weapons caches and confessions by terrorist elements describing how they obtained arms from foreign sources.

US regional allies Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait recalled their ambassadors to Damascus earlier this month, before the White House's threat-laden message.

Political analysts have opined that the moves could be interpreted as a prelude to foreign intervention or even civil war in Syria.

In June, Washington threatened Syria with regime change, with Carney claiming that there had to be a “transition to a more democratic Syria.” “President Assad needs to either lead that transition or get out of the way,” he stated.

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