Panetta: Syria strikes putting nail in Assad's own coffin

By REUTERS
July 29, 2012 23:44

TUNIS - Attacks on the Syrian city of Aleppo are putting the nail in the coffin of President Bashar Assad's government, showing he lacks the legitimacy to rule, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Sunday.

Panetta, speaking at the start of a weeklong trip to the Middle East and North Africa, did not offer any new steps the United States might take even as he renewed calls for a united international effort "to bring the Assad regime down."

Helicopter gunships opened fire over Aleppo on Sunday and the thud of artillery boomed across neighborhoods as government forces and rebels fought for control of the city.

"If they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people in Aleppo, I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad's own coffin," Panetta said, speaking to reporters shortly before landing in Tuni


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