WASHINGTON — The White House hardened its stance against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Wednesday, saying the United States viewed him as the cause of instability in the country.
"Syria would be a better place without President Assad," White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a news conference.
"We view him as the cause of instability in Syria," Carney said, toughening the language the Obama administration has used about the Syrian leader who has launched military assaults against protesters demanding his ouster.
The Syrian government blames "armed terrorist groups" for most killings in the 5-month-old revolt, saying more than 500 soldiers and security personnel have died.
Opposition and human rights group say more than 1,600 civilians have been killed.
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