For Immediate Release, August 18, 2011
Contact: David Early, 202-429-7817
 
(Washington) – Experts from the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) are available for comment and analysis as President Barack Obama on August 18 calls on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside. 
 
Steven Heydemann, senior vice president 
Cell: 202-360-0056
Office: 202-429-3857
E-mail: sheydemann@usip.org  
 
Heydemann: “President Obama’s statement on Syria tightens the screws, but it will not be a game changer without ramping up multilateral, regional pressure. The challenge now is to focus on post-Assad transition planning and outreach to the Syrian opposition.”
 
Mona Yacoubian, special adviser  
Cell: 301-908-8622  
Office: 202-429-3868
E-mail: myacoubian@usip.org 
 
Yacoubian: “This marks an important shift in U.S. policy toward Syria by dispensing with any illusion that the Assad regime is capable of reform. The president's statement, along with a coordinated call for Assad to leave by Britain, France and Germany, heralds a broader multilateral effort to isolate the Syrian regime in the face of its escalated repression during Ramadan.” 
 

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