France's Hollande urges Russia to stop backing Assad

French President Francois Hollande on Thursday called on Russia to stop harming civilians in Syria and reiterated calls for President Bashar Assad to leave power.
"I ask that the Russian actions stop because we have thousands of people displaced by the bombardments," Hollande said in a televised interview after a cabinet reshuffle in France. "We have to ensure that Bashar Assad leaves power."
He said that Assad was massacring his people, helped by Moscow. Hollande praised his new Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, as an experienced former prime minister suited to take over France's work in Syria, replacing Laurent Fabius.