Calls for Syria's Assad to quit spark mixed reactions
Syrian state-controlled media responded with outrage to US and European calls for President Al-Assad to step down, and accused what Syrian TV called "imperialist powers" of seeking to subjugate the country.
Elsewhere in the region, the general view was that the Syrian government no longer had any friends left apart from Iran, and that the call marked the beginning of the end for the Syrian president.
Russian and Turkish commentators pointed out that increasing the pressure on President Assad could have unfortunate consequences, but conceded that other options were now practically exhausted.
SYRIAN SATELLITE TV
This is a turning point in the history of international political hypocrisy. America, the leader of the assembly of world imperialism, and its French, British, and German members, and their regional followers, attack Syria and its people, as the last target in their eyes…
By which means do these imperialist powers want to stand by us: Is it going to be similar to the Iraqi, Libyan, or the Afghan scenario, or perhaps there is another new method that has not been used yet? Syrians know that the same scenario adopted in 2003 and 2005 is being repeated using different means.
BASSAM HASHIM IN AL-BAATH (SYRIAN RULING PARTY PAPER)
Obama is laying the foundation of an unprecedented approach and is taking on a losing challenge when he practises undisguised incitement and provides support for those who have been expelled by their societies… It was desperate and miserable for him to demand democracy… in a country that has its own established political traditions and a long history of confronting external interference and adhering to the independence of its decisions and its right to defend its peoples' interests.
MIDDLE EAST MEDIA
The United States is no longer hesitant, cautious, and slow… The US administration, represented by President Barack Obama and [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton, is clearly and directly telling the Syrian regime that it is time for the president and his clique to step down because the United States has started to believe that Assad is an obstacle to reform…
The international community is tightening its grip on the Syrian regime, which is running out of options.
EDITORIAL IN QATAR'S AL-WATAN
The current moment carries many possibilities for Syria. But the one thing that is sure is that the world will continue to increase the pressure in order to help the Syrian people find salvation and fulfil their aspirations towards freedom and the establishment of a democratic regime that reflects the desires of all Syrians. Only the achievement of democracy will reduce the pains of the Syrian people.
EDITORIAL IN QATAR'S AL-RAYAH
The Syrian regime, which has lost most of its allies, wasted one opportunity after another to extricate itself from the current crisis. It created this crisis by insisting on a story that convinced no one; a story of "armed gangs" that target civilians in Syria, target public and private enterprises and target the regime as it represents "resistance". The Syrian regime has boxed itself into a corner. It is surrounded on the inside with popular protests requesting it to leave… The regime also isolated itself internationally by exposing itself to strict political and economic sanctions as well as diminishing international recognition. Hence the international community cannot deal with it politically. The existence of the regime has become part of the problem, not the solution.
SAMIH SHUBAYB IN PALESTINIAN PAPER AL-AYYAM
It is clear that apart from Iran and some of its clients in the region, no-one is supporting the Syrian regime.
TARIQ AL-HUMAYD IN PAN-ARAB SAUDI-OWNED PAPER AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT
With the USA, UK, France and the EU declaring that Bashar al-Assad must go and with the Syrian issue being discussed at the Security Council, the Syrian revolution has entered the most important stage towards ending the bloodshed, destruction and strife, as we are on course to the beginning of the end of Assad's regime.
RUSSIAN, TURKISH PRESS
NIKOLAY SURKOV IN RUSSIA'S NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA
Russia is firmly resolved to prevent any foreign military intervention and the prospect of events in Syria developing into a Libyan scenario. At the same time, Moscow is trying to maintain contacts with all sides, and pushing for dialogue between Damascus and the opposition. But Russian diplomats do not rule out the possibility that the point of no return has already been passed and that the chances of a political settlement in Syria are close to zero.
IBRAHIM KARAGUL IN TURKEY'S YENI SAFAK
Now only Iran is taking the side of Syria. If the doors for reconciliation are completely closed and a destructive war starts against the Damascus government… we will also be faced with the prospect of a conflict running out of control. The regime will put up resistance until the bitter end.