[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list