[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
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.