(LONDON) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested Thursday that Bashar al-Assad’s days are numbered as leader of Syria.
With representatives from 70 nations meeting in Tunisia on Friday to discuss the Syrian crisis and other world hot spots, Clinton told reporters, “If I were a betting person for the medium term and certainly the long term, I would be betting against Assad.”
The Syrian president has acted with impunity since earlier this month when the United Nations Security Council failed to pass a resolution calling for al-Assad to cede power to a transitional government as a way of ending a nearly year-long crackdown on pro-reform dissidents that has left 7,000 people dead.
Still angered by the decision of Russia and China to stand by its ally, Clinton pointedly remarked, “the obstruction of a few countries cannot be allowed to stop the world community from coming to the aid of the Syrian people.”
As for what will occur at the international conference, Clinton said she and the other diplomats will discuss “providing humanitarian relief, increasing pressure on the regime and preparing for a democratic transition.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Rafael Romo and Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Georgia McCafferty and Junko Ogura, CNN
Claire Moran, CNN
Sarah Anderson, Deseret News