British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday it was time for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to go to prevent civil war in the country.
"In terms of Syria, I would have a very clear message for President Assad, which is it is time for him to go," Cameron told reporters in Kabul during his visit to Afghanistan.
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"It is time for transition in this regime... but if there isn't transition it's quite clear there is going to be civil war," the British leader added ahead of a vote Thursday in the UN Security Council on a Western-backed resolution calling for sanctions.
Russia and China are expected to veto the resolution despite mounting concern over Syria after a Damascus bomb attack killed three close associates of Assad.
"The message to (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin... and the message to all those on the UN Security Council -- it is time for the UN Security Council to pass clear and tough messages about sanctions," Cameron said.
The Red Cross said this week Syria is already in a state of all-out civil war and called on all sides to respect international law or risk war crimes prosecutions.