TOKYO - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday there was no doubt Syria's opposition forces were growing more effective and the sooner the violence ended, the higher the chances of sparing the Syrian government from a "catastrophic assault."

"The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die but there is a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region," Clinton said.

Clinton was speaking in Tokyo after a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba. The two were meeting on the sidelines of an international conference on aid to Afghanistan.

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