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Tuesday 07.04.2020 | Name days: Helmuts, Zina, Zinaīda

Panetta: Aleppo is a nail in Assad's coffin

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US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s assault on the city of Aleppo will be «a nail in his coffin».

Mr Panetta said the Syrian crisis was deepening and that President Assad was hastening his own demise, BBC reported.

«If they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people… I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad’s coffin,» he told reporters.

«What Assad has been doing to his own people and what he continues to do to his own people makes clear that his regime is coming to an end. It’s lost all legitimacy.»

He added: «It’s no longer a question of whether he’s coming to an end, it’s when.»

He said he aimed to reinforce an international consensus that Mr Assad must step down and allow a peaceful transition to democracy.

The defence secretary said he would also continue efforts to ensure that Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons did not fall into the wrong hands.

Heavy fighting is continuing in Syria’s largest city where government forces are trying to oust rebel fighters.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said 200,000 people had fled the fighting in Aleppo and that an unknown number were trapped.

She called on all parties to the fighting to ensure that they do not target civilians and that they allow humanitarian organisations safe access. The city urgently needs supplies including food and water, she said.

Meanwhile the Assad’s army keeps saying that «in a few days safety and security will return to the city of Aleppo», adding that that the government was winning its war against the rebels.

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