Syria: Aleppo Is Nail in Assad’s Coffin, Says Panetta
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 was speaking at the start of a five-day Middle East tour.
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 said that the city urgently needed supplies including food and water.
Mr Panetta said the Syrian crisis was deepening and that President Assad was hastening his own demise.
“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.”