Washington, Feb 4: President Barack Obama today blamed the Syrian government of “unspeakable assault” on its civilians in the city of Homs, as he demanded that President Bashar Assad step down.
“I strongly condemn the Syrian government's unspeakable assault against the people of Homs and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones,” Obama said.
He said Assad has “no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community”.
“Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now. He must step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately,” Obama said.
Ahead of a crucial meeting of the UN Security Council today on Syria, wherein there are differences in the 15-membered body over the issue, Obama appealled to the international community to come together against this tyrant.
“The Council now has an opportunity to stand against the Assad regime's relentless brutality and to demonstrate that it is a credible advocate for the universal rights that are written into the UN Charter,” Obama said.
He underlined the need to work with the Syrian people to build a brighter future for Syria.
“A Syria without Assad could be a Syria in which all Syrians are subject to the rule of law and where minorities are able to exercise their legitimate rights and uphold their identities and traditions while acting as fully enfranchised citizens in a unified republic,” he said.
Obama said the Syrian regime's policy of maintaining power by terrorizing its people only indicates its inherent weakness and inevitable collapse.
The powerful Council was set to discuss a draft resolution condemning the Assad regime and endorsing an Arab League plan for a political transition, while Russia's foreign minister planned to meet the Syrian leader in Damascus next week.