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Rice: Syria on Verge of Civil War

Bashar al-Assad is 'no friend' of the US, says former secretary of state
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 20, 2011 8:18 AM CST
Condoleezza Rice: Bashar al-Assad Is Taking Syria to Brink of Civil War
Pro-Syrian regime protesters shout pro-Syrian President Bashar Assad slogans during a demonstration to show their soldarity with their president, in Damascus, Syria, on Sunday Nov. 20, 2011. Residents in the Syrian capital awoke to two loud explosions Sunday amid reports from activists that the Damascus...   (Bassem Tellawi)

(Newser) – Syrian President Bashar Assad is taking his country to the brink of civil war, says former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. She tells CNN's State of the Union that Assad "is no friend of the United States" and that his overthrow would be a "great thing" for the Syrian people, US interests, and anyone seeking a more peaceful Middle East. Rice is calling for the "toughest" possible penalties against Assad's government.

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She says that if Russia and China block UN sanctions, the US should apply pressure with its allies or act alone. Rice also is urging more assistance to Syria's opposition. (Read more Condoleezza Rice stories.)

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