Recently, the US suggested that Assad does not necessarily have to go. Nonetheless, experts say it is still too early to ascertain whether the West's attitude towards the regime has changed.
Comments by US special envoy for Syria come after Washington announced new sanctions on the Syrian regime last week, targeting 39 new entities under the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2019.
Cutting Bashar al Assad's lifelines breathes new life into the struggle to unseat the dictator accused of war crimes.
While US sanctions don't translate to accountability, it will draw blood from the Syrian regime.
The first batch of designations target 39 people or entities, including Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad personally as well as his wife Asma — the first time she has been targeted by US sanctions.
Sunni majority Syria was carved out of Ottoman Turkey in 1945, but since 1970, the Assad clan from an Alawite minority has ruled over it.
Experts say Syria's economic woes could weaken Bashar al Assad's military stranglehold over the country.
Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad removed his prime minister of four years, as the country grapples with a stinging economic crisis and renewed protests. He is replaced by Water Resources Minister Hussein Arnous for an interim period.
Protests erupted in Suweida over deteriorating living standards, as Assad struggles to keep the economy afloat.
Two senior Syrian opposition sources and the regional source cited by Reuters, say private military contractor Wagner Group is conducting the hiring with Russian army supervision.
The toll of nine dead could rise as some people were seriously injured in the raids, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
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