US target remains removal of Assad: Rice
AFP- The United States is determined to increase pressure on Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to make him stand down, the US envoy to the United Nations said Tuesday.
"The situation in Syria remains dire, especially for the millions who continue to endure daily attacks and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance," ambassador Susan Rice told reporters after a Security Council briefing by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
"The United States remains focused on increasing the pressure on the Assad regime and on Assad himself to step down," Rice said.
"We support international efforts to broker a political solution that ends the violence and facilitates a genuine political transition."
Rice said there was a "somewhat mixed" picture coming out of Syria with signs that the use of heavy weapons has declined in recent days but "we have seen an increase in other forms of violence as scores continue to be killed each and every day."
The United States wants Annan's peace mission to succeed, she said, while adding: "It is plain that the Syrian regime has not implemented fully any of the six points" of the Annan plan.
Reaffirming US doubts that Annan's mission would work, she said the United States is ready to return to the Security Council to seek "other measures" -- sanctions -- against the Syrian leadership.