Washington, July 18: Stating that the situation in Syria was fast “spinning out of control”, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Wednesday called for more international pressure on Damascus, Xinhua reported.
The violence in the Middle East country had “only gotten worse and the loss of lives has only increased”, leading to a situation “that is rapidly spinning out of control”, said Panetta during a joint press conference with visiting British counterpart Philip Hammond.
Ahead of Panetta’s remarks, Syrian Defence Minister Dawood Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat were killed and others injured earlier in the day when an explosion ripped through the national intelligence headquarters in Damascus.
While Hammond said the explosion suggested the Syrian opposition was emboldened by increasing access to weaponry.
Panetta also called for more international pressure on the Syrian leadership, asking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and allow for a “peaceful transition”.