February 15th, 2012
04:52 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama has not publicly condemned Syria in the way that he applied pressure on Egypt and Libya, but the White House dismisses criticism that the U.S. resolve in Syria is any less forceful.
“We continue to work with all friends of the Syrian people to mount pressure on Assad to get him to step aside and allow a peaceful political transition to go forward immediately,’ NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor told CNN.
But that hasn’t happened yet even though the Obama administration seems convinced that the writing is on the wall for President. Bashar Assad.
“It’s clear Assad is on his way out. His single-minded brutality has made the end of his rule of Syria inevitable,” Vietor said.
Regime insiders are already moving assets out of the country, U.S. officials said and some are making plans to send their families abroad too.
The White House approach to “squeeze the regime” relies on imposing what one official described as “all possible sanctions.” The administration is also focused on bolstering the Syrian opposition and working to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrians.
In the coming days, Vietor said the U.S. would be involved in discussions with allies and partners to “crystallize next steps to halt the slaughter of the Syrian people.”
The so called “Friends of Syria” meeting to ensure the political transition to democracy moves forward is set for February 24th in Tunisia.
Meantime, White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama was “very engaged” in this issue.
In his meeting with China’s Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, Mr. Obama expressed disappointment with their veto [along with Russia] of the United Nations Security Council’s resolution on Syria, according to a senior administration official. The two leaders also discussed the need to move to a transition there.
The brutal government crackdown in Syria and almost daily scenes of violence in the streets only bolsters the international case for Assad’s exit.
“The longer he is permitted to deny this political reality, the greater the risk that he will foment chaos that will destabilize the whole region,” Vietor said.