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British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad must step aside and there must be regime change in Damascus to avoid civil war.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON; SAYING:
"I would have a very clear message for President Assad, which is it is time for him to go, it is time for transition in this regime. Clearly Britain doesn't support violence on either side, but if there isn't transition, it's quite clear there is going to be civil war, that is the clear fact."
Cameron spoke to reporters while on a visit to Afghanistan.
Al-Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, a top commander and one of the pillars of the Assad clan's rule, was killed in a bomb blast on Wednesday along with Defence Minister Daoud Rajha and a top general.
Months of fierce clashes in Syria have killed 17,000 people, activists say.