Syria situation "spinning out of control": Pentagon chief

Syria situation "spinning out of control": Pentagon chief
# 18 July 2012 20:39 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday the situation in Syria was fast "spinning out of control," and called for more international pressure on Damascus, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In a joint press conference with visiting British counterpart Philip Hammond, he said 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."

Ahead of Panetta’s remarks, two top Syrian officials were killed and others injured when an explosion ripped through the national intelligence headquarters in the Syrian capital. Syrian Defense Minister Dawood Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat were among the dead.

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."

The Syrian Defense Ministry pledged to eradicate the armed groups and their hideouts after the blast, the state TV said in a statement, adding the recent attack would only strengthen the forces’ resolution to eliminate the terrorists across the country.

Right after the blast, security and army forces beefed up their presence and fanned out around the area, ringing it with buses.
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