Senator Says U.S. Should Urge Assad to Step Down for Undermining Lebanese Democracy


Number-two Republican Senator Jon Kyl, a fierce critic of U.S. President Barack Obama's efforts to engage Syria, said Washington should call for Syrian leader Bashar Assad to step down for undermining Lebanon’s democracy and smuggling weapons to Hizbullah.

“We should not be fooled by his sacking of his government. This is still the same Assad who undermined Lebanese democracy, who worked with North Korea to develop a clandestine nuclear capability, and who smuggles arms to Hizbullah and lends support to Hamas,” Kyl said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We must learn from our mistakes, and President Obama and the Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton must promptly call for Assad to step down and pledge to support the legitimate Syrian opposition,” he said.

The Senator also called for U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford to "investigate" attacks on protesters.

“Ford should also visit Daraa immediately to investigate the Assad regime’s attack on peaceful protests last week,” he said.