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KABUL -- 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.
"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.