News / Middle East

Clinton Says Assad's Days Are Numbered

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends at an international conference on Afghan civilian assistance in Tokyo, July 8, 2012.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends at an international conference on Afghan civilian assistance in Tokyo, July 8, 2012.
TOKYO - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says opposition attacks in Syria are stepping up pressure on the government.

Secretary Clinton says mounting military defections and bolder opposition attacks in Damascus are further isolating Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  She told reporters in Tokyo Sunday that it is time his government realizes "the sand is running out of the hourglass."

Clinton said, "There is no doubt that the opposition is getting more effective in their defense of themselves and in going on the offense against the Syrian military and the Syrian government's militias.  So the future, to me, should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime: the days are numbered."

She says the sooner violence stops and a political transition process begins the fewer people will die, and the Syrian state could be saved from what she calls "a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria, but to the region."

U.N. Chief's Effort Failing

U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has been working for months on a political transition even as the cease-fire he negotiated collapsed.

In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, Annan said, “Evidently, we have not succeeded.”

Asked about that admission in a question-and-answer session alongside Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, Secretary Clinton said Annan's acknowledgement "should be a wake-up call to everyone."

The top U.S. diplomat continued, "And therefore the parties, principally the government, have to ask themselves what is the alternative?"

She says Annan is admitting the obvious: that he has not yet been able to convince the Syrian government to "wake up and recognize the path they are on."

Assad Still Has Some Backers

The Assad government says it is fighting foreign-backed terrorists and continues to enjoy the support of Russia, China and Iran.

Secretary Clinton says it is "intolerable" that permanent U.N. Security Council members Russia and China are hampering efforts to end the Syrian conflict.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin says her comments are "totally unacceptable" and China's stance on Syria has wide support among members of the international community.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid