Washington: Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad
continues with his repressive tactics and as such he has lost his credibility in the eyes of his own people, US President Barack Obama said today, even as violence continues to rage in
"I do believe that President Assad missed an opportunity
to reform his government, chose the path of repression, and
has continued to engage in repressive tactics so that his credibility, his capacity to regain legitimacy inside Syria, I think is deeply eroded," Obama said.
At a joint news conference with the visiting Iraqi Prime
Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, Obama said he has expressed his
outrage in how the Syrian regime has been operating. The issue
came up for discussions during the meeting between the two.
Syrians were voting today in municipal elections held
amid a general strike called by the opposition, as security
forces killed at least seven people.
"We believe that international pressure, the approach
we`ve taken along with partners around the world, to impose
tough sanctions and to call on Assad to step down, a position
that is increasingly mirrored by the Arab League states, is
the right position to take," Obama said.
"Even if there are tactical disagreements between Iraq
and the US at this point in how to deal with Syria, I have
absolutely no doubt that these decisions are being made based
on what Prime Minister Maliki believes is best for Iraq, not
based on considerations of what Iran would like to see," Obama