[QODLink]
Inside Story
Bashar al-Assad: Time to step aside?
Piling pressure on Syria, Obama leads mounting international calls for the Syrian president to step down.
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2011 12:05

Barack Obama, the US president, along with the rest of the international community is calling for Syria's leader to step down. And the United Nations claims Syria could be guilty of crimes against humanity.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said: "The time has come for him to step aside and leave this transition to the Syrians themselves." 

It is a significant ramp-up of international pressure and the first explicit US call for Bashar al-Assad to resign since the uprising in Syria began in March.

The US will not rule out military action, but officials say it is "not a desired course" for the US and its allies, or for the Syrian people.

But how effective will the latest economic sanctions be? Is the situation on the ground really going to change? And is this the beginning of a coordinated action by the UN?

Inside Story, with presenter Hazem Sika, discusses with Rosemary Hollis, a professor of Middle East Policy Studies at City University; Theodore Kattouf, the president of AMIDEAST, which is a US NGO working in international education, training and development in Middle East and North Africa; and Ashraf al-Moqdad, a Syrian opposition member.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.
Chinese authorities scramble to cut off information on Hong Kong protests from reaching the mainland.