Syria

White House Says Assad Losing Control of Syria

Describes government as "crumbling from within."

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The White House said on Monday the defection of Syria's prime minister showed that President Bashar al-Assad's government was "crumbling from within" and repeated the U.S. call for him to step aside and end the violence gripping the country.

"This is a sign that Assad's grip on power is loosening. If he cannot maintain cohesion within his own inner circle, it reflects on his inability to maintain any following among the Syrian people that isn't brought about at the point of a gun," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.