August 11, 2011

The United States, after weeks of hesitation, has finally decided to call explicitly for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down amid broadening pressure to staunch the bloodshed.

The announcement, which US officials said is expected as early as Thursday, would come as President Barack Obama’s administration presses for tougher international sanctions on a regime bent on crushing a pro-democracy movement.

“The United States is looking to explicitly call for Assad to step down. The timing of that is still in question,” a US official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

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