News / Middle East

Panetta: Aleppo Attacks Might Spell End to Assad Government

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta talks during a news conference at the Pentagon, June 29, 2012.Defense Secretary Leon Panetta talks during a news conference at the Pentagon, June 29, 2012.
x
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta talks during a news conference at the Pentagon, June 29, 2012.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta talks during a news conference at the Pentagon, June 29, 2012.

Related Articles

Luis Ramirez
TUNIS — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says increasing attacks by Syrian forces on the city of Aleppo could bring an end of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Panetta made the comments as he traveled to the region on Sunday.  
 
Panetta spoke as he flew to Tunis on the start of a five-day trip to build military relations with the emerging governments in Tunisia and Egypt, countries that were part of last year's Arab Spring popular uprisings.  The trip will also include visits to Israel and Jordan. 
 
The defense secretary said he has congratulations for the people of Tunisia and Egypt for carrying out what he says have been generally peaceful transitions.  But with regard to Syria, Panetta stressed that the increasing violence by Syrian forces could soon bring the fall of the Assad government. 
 
"If they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people in Aleppo, I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad's coffin [i.e., the end of his government]," he said. 
 
Panetta said it is no longer a question of whether, but when the Assad government end. "What Assad has been doing to his own people and what he continues to do to his own people makes clear that his regime is coming to an end.  It's lost all legitimacy," he said. 
 
Panetta gave no indication that the United States plans to take any new action to stop Syrian government attacks on civilians.  Panetta said the key is to continue increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on the Assad government and boost humanitarian aid for refugees who have been fleeing Syria, mainly to Turkey and Jordan.
 
Later this the week, the defense secretary is scheduled to travel to Jerusalem, where he will meet with Israeli leaders.  On the agenda will likely be Iran's nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, something the Obama administration has wanted to prevent. 
 
The Obama administration says it hopes international sanctions will curtail Tehran's nuclear ambitions.  But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said sanctions and diplomacy have not set back Iran's nuclear program.  Tehran says its atomic program is for peaceful purposes.
 
Panetta on Sunday said Israel has not made a decision on whether to launch a preemptive attack.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 31, 2012 2:18 PM
Military cooperation, did you say? Well, but keep it low keyed. Remember any aid given will be stored in order to be used against Israel when the next round of Arab-Israeli war begins, which all arabs and islamists are seriously preparing for with every resource at their disposal. The US should not mistakenly contribute to the build up of arms to attack Israel in the name of building military cooperation with the enemy armies. As for Obama, the US should take actions in agreement with its policy not what suits him and his gravitation toward islamism. I mean that the military aid should not contribute to Iran's construction of nuclear weaponry - this is what all islamists are looking up to - and then the terrorists would be on top of the world. For all Arab and islamic countries are making secret contributions to Iran's nuclear weapons program.

by: Plain Mirror from: Abidjan
July 30, 2012 4:31 AM
For long now, Obama has been operating on youthful exoberance. Over-stepping of mandates! Living without regards for a nations constitution. Forceful infusion of his loyalists in power and all other arrogancy. Today Obama is mature because the bitter consequencies of his unconsitutional and violent actions on people of Ivory coast and Libya is still on the faces of the victimised people. He has learnt his lessons and has come to terms that violent often does not bring the solution. Bravo Obama! You are now mature to an extent. I wished you would keep it up. Then as a mark of warning!! Israel and US should watch their steps towards any military attack on Iran. It would cost the world what it never bargained for. Be warned!!

by: Anonymous
July 30, 2012 12:25 AM
You can only kick a poodle so many times before it bites you. It's a matter of time before Assad is captured and held accountable by his own people for the deaths of so many innocent civillians. I wish a couple thousand Syrians would just storm his palace and put an end to this bloodshed once and for all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More