US willing to work with Russia on Syria â€“ Obama
US President Barack Obama has denounced world powers that continue to support embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Syria â€œcannot return to the pre-war status quoâ€, Obama said at the 70th United Nations General Assembly on Monday afternoon.
The US leader decried Assad as â€œa tyrantâ€ and â€œa brutal dictator [who] slaughters tens of thousands of his own peopleâ€, adding that peace in Syria is only possible if Assad leaves office.
The Syrian conflict, which began as a peaceful protest in 2011, has led to at least 250,000 deaths, according to the UN. More than half of Syriaâ€™s pre-war population of 22.4 million has been internally displaced or fled abroad.
â€œAssad and his allies cannot simply pacify the broad majority of a population who has been brutalised,â€ Obama said. He called for a â€œmanaged transitionâ€ that removes Assad from the presidency and puts in his place a more democratic system.
The US presidentâ€™s comments underscore the tensions between the US and Russia, the latter of which has stepped up its support for the Assad government with an ongoing military build-up in Syria.
Nonetheless, Obama also said that the US will work with any nation on Syria, including Russia and Iran.
Please LOGIN or REGISTER To Gain Full Access To This Article