Tunisian President Urges Assad Allies to Drop Syrian Dictator

 
on April 24 2012 9:33 AM

Bashar al-Assad is finished and his international allies have to persuade him to leave power to avoid further bloodshed, according to Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki.

In a newspaper interview published on Tuesday, al-Marzouki urged Assad's Russian, Chinese and Iranian allies to abandon support for the beleaguered dictator and hand over [power] to his deputy.

The call follows reports of widespread violence throughout Syria, with the opposition Syrian Movement for Human Rights claiming 11 people died in attacks on Tuesday, following 30 killings on Monday.

The reported uptick in violence comes despite the United Nations' pledge to bolster its observation mission in Syria from only a handful to around 300 within 90 days.

The Russians and Chinese, and the Iranians must understand that this man [Assad] is finished and they cannot defend him. Marzouki told the regional Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, according to Reuters.

They must persuade him to leave power and hand over to his deputy, Marzouki said.

Assad will go one way or another ... dead or alive, he said.

In February, Tunisia offered to give Assad political asylum, in a bid to end the conflict, which the UN says has killed at least 9,000 people so far.

Speaking directly to Assad, Marzouki added, It's better for you and your family to leave alive, because if you decide to leave dead, that means that you have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents. Enough blood has been shed.

According to CNN, with Homs and Hama pounded with artillery fire just days after UN observers left, an opposition group called the Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

An activist known as Fateh also reported tank and artillery fire in the southern city of Douma.

Elsewhere, the LCC described how security services had moved 20 corpses from a hospital in Idlib after it emerged UN observers were coming to the area. 

Continuing bloodshed has led many to doubt the viability of the UN mission, despite a pledge by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to begin deploying all monitors next week.

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