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Published On: Tue, Jul 31st, 2012

Def. Sec. Leon Panetta to Syria’s Assad ‘Get the hell out’

US Defense Sec. Leon Panetta has advice for Syria’s President Assad: “If you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you’d better get the hell out now.”

Leon Panetta Secretary of Defense Pentagon

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“The United States and the international community has made very clear that this is intolerable, and have brought their diplomatic and economic pressure on Syria to stop this kind of violence, to have Assad step down and to transition to a democratic form of government,” he said in an interview withCNN’s Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr in an exclusive interview in Tunis, Tunisia, Monday.

“I think it’s important when Assad leaves – and he will leave – to try to preserve stability in that country. And the best way to preserve that kind of stability is to maintain as much of the military, the police, as you can, along with the security forces, and hope that they will transition to a democratic form of government. That’s a key,” Panetta continued.

The international community has yet to reach consensus on the ongoing strife in Syria. Russia and China oppose removing Assad, saying his government is supported by a majority of Syrians.

Syria’s government forces should remain intact after embattled President Assad is ousted, said Panetta.

 Though the Obama administration is resolved against military intervention in the country, Panetta nevertheless drew a comparison with the occupation of Iraq following the 2003 US-led invasion.

“It’s very important that we don’t make the same mistakes we made in Iraq,” he said, referring to the Bush administration’s decision to disband the country’s military in the wake of the invasion. “I think it’s important when Assad leaves, and he will leave, to try to preserve stability in that country.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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