Obama raises pressure for Syria regime change


US President Barack Obama vowed to redouble efforts to force a change of regime in Syria as the UN Security Council struggled to agree on a resolution on Damascus’s crackdown on dissent. Obama said concerns about the crackdown on demonstrators by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had been “uppermost” in talks with visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday. “We continue to see unacceptable levels of violence inside that country,” Obama said. “We will continue to consult very closely with Jordan to create the kind of international pressure and environment that encourage the current Syrian regime to step aside so that a more democratic process and transition can take place inside of Syria.” The US president thanked King Abdullah for being the first Arab leader to call publicly for Assad to go and for taking part in Arab League efforts to mitigate the crisis.