Turkey, Jordan Call on Syria's Assad to Stop Attacks

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Leaders of Turkey and Jordan are calling on Syrian leader Bashar Assad to stop military attacks on civilian protesters.

In recent days, Syrian forces have killed more than 30 people in a crackdown on Latakia, the country's largest port city. On Sunday, gunboats joined Syrian troops in shelling areas with many women and children.

During the past five months of turmoil, Assad has banned the foreign press. So the stories of large street protests and brutal violence come from opposition cameras.

Pictures sent from Latakia this weekend showed the crowd chanting, "This nation wants to topple the regime!"

The Assad regime's continued brutality is galvanizing international opinion. There has been a crescendo of condemnation, not only from the world, but in particular from the region.

Strong words came from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but with more than 2,000 Syrians killed to date, there is still no call from President Obama for Assad to go.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah called the Syrian government a "killing machine" and pulled the Saudi ambassador more than a week ago. Many Arab leaders are angry that Assad has his tanks in the streets during Islam's holy month of Ramadan.

The U.S. and Europe are still focused on sanctions as a way to push Assad to end the violence.

"We urge those countries still buying Syrian oil and gas, those countries still sending Assad weapons, those countries whose political and economic support give him comfort in his brutality to get on the right side of history," Clinton said.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that Spain has quietly offered asylum to Assad if he'll stop the violence and begin reforms. That offer is likely to be rejected, and the Syrian opposition can expect to see more tanks in the streets.

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CBN News
John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.