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US hopes Russia, China will step up pressure on al-Assad

May 31, 2012, 2:31 UTC+3

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms yesterday's massacre in the Syrian village of Haoula

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WASHINGTON, May 31 (Itar-Tass) —— The U.S. administration hopes that Russia and China will step up pressure in Syria, Department of State Spokesperson Mark Toner said at a press briefing on Wednesday, May 30.

“We would like to work constructively with China and Russia going forward to increase pressure on [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, bring more pressure to bear on him, the kind of political and economic pressure that we think is going to finally turn the tables here,” he said.

He did not say how seriously the United States is considering the possibility of sending troops to Syria. “It’s not something I would discuss here other than to say we never take any option off the table,” he said.

He stressed that “what’s going on in Syria is untenable, it’s inexcusable, it’s despicable”.

“Assad has blood on his hands, and we’ve said all along that he cannot be a credible voice for political dialogue and political change,” Toner said.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a statement condemning the killings in Haoula, Syria.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms yesterday's massacre in the Syrian village of Haoula. United Nations observers have confirmed that dozens of men, women, and children were killed and hundreds more wounded in a vicious assault that involved a regime artillery and tank barrage on a residential neighborhood,” she said.

“Those who perpetrated this atrocity must be identified and held to account. And the United States will work with the international community to intensify our pressure on Asad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end,” Clinton said.

She stressed, “We stand in solidarity with the Syrian people and the peaceful marchers in cities across Syria who have taken to the streets to denounce the massacre in Haoula.”


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