Washington - The White House estimated Monday that Syrian President Bashar Assad's
government is on the verge of collapse and called on the United Nations to adopt a resolution that would facilitate a political transition in Syria.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that Assad's fall in inevitable, noting that the Damascus regime has lost control over the country.
"As governments make decisions about where they stand on this issue and what further steps need to be taken with regards to the brutality of the Assad regime, it's important to calculate into your considerations the fact that he will go. The regime has lost control of the country and will eventually fall," he said.
Opposition groups reported that some 100 people were killed at the hand of the security forces on Monday, primarily in Homs and on the outskirts of Damascus, where the Assad's troops clashed with rebels' army.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice accused the Security Council of "inaction" and "neglect" during 10 months of Syrian violence, urging the global body to endorse an Arab League plan for a political transition there.
Rice was speaking a day before Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby and Qatar's prime minister are due to plead with the 15-nation Security Council to back the league's plan for Assad to transfer powers to his deputy to prepare for free elections.
"We have seen the consequences of neglect and inaction by this council over the course of the last 10 months, not because the majority of the council isn't eager to act – it has been," Rice told reporters.
"But there have been a couple of very powerful members who have not been willing to see that action take place," she said. "That may yet still be the case."
Rice was referring to Russia
and China, which vetoed a European-drafted Security Council resolution in October that would have condemned Syria and threatened it with possible sanctions.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
who will attend Tuesday's council meeting with Elaraby, along with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, also urged the council to adopt a European-Arab draft resolution endorsing the Arab League plan.
"The Security Council must act and make clear to the Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a threat to peace and security," Clinton said in a statement. "The violence must end, so that a new period of democratic transition can begin."
Clinton voiced concern that if the crisis in Syria isn't stopped, it could spread.
"The longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region," she said.
Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said last week that he was willing to engage on the European-Arab draft resolution, but said the draft was unacceptable in its current state.
Diplomats said Elaraby would be meeting with Churkin behind closed doors in New York to explain to him that vetoing the draft resolution would be tantamount to vetoing the Arab world.
Earlier, a French diplomat said that at least 10 members of the Council support a resolution calling for a political transition in Syria.
A vote on the draft resolution is unlikely before Thursday or Friday, Western diplomats said on condition of anonymity.
Reuters contributed to the report