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US willing to work with Russia on Syria – Obama

US President Barack Obama has denounced world powers that continue to support embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Syria “cannot return to the pre-war status quo”, Obama said at the 70th United Nations General Assembly on Monday afternoon.

The US leader decried Assad as “a tyrant” and “a brutal dictator [who] slaughters tens of thousands of his own people”, adding that peace in Syria is only possible if Assad leaves office.

The Syrian conflict, which began as a peaceful protest in 2011, has led to at least 250,000 deaths, according to the UN. More than half of Syria’s pre-war population of 22.4 million has been internally displaced or fled abroad.

“Assad and his allies cannot simply pacify the broad majority of a population who has been brutalised,” Obama said. He called for a “managed transition” that removes Assad from the presidency and puts in his place a more democratic system.

The US president’s comments underscore the tensions between the US and Russia, the latter of which has stepped up its support for the Assad government with an ongoing military build-up in Syria.

Nonetheless, Obama also said that the US will work with any nation on Syria, including Russia and Iran.

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Posted By Bobricky On 10:03 Mon, 28 Sep 2015

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