Syria “will be better off” without Assad, US says

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost his legitimacy and his people "will be better off without him," the White House said Monday after deadly weekend violence.

US President Barack Obama "has no doubt the Syrian people will be better off without him," White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters, reiterating that the Syrian leader had "lost his legitimacy" in a bloody five-month crackdown.

His comments came as Syrian forces killed three people on Monday a day after gunboats pounded the port city of Latakia, forcing thousands of Palestinians to flee a refugee camp located there, activists and a UN agency said.

The Palestinians condemned Syria over the violence as the UN Relief and Works Agency reported that more than 5,000 refugees had fled Ramel camp in southern Latakia under fire and demanded immediate access to the site.

Palestine Liberation Organization secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo denounced the attack on the Ramel camp and said such violence was "part of the crimes against humanity" targeting Palestinians and Syrians alike.

Jordan, adding its voice to a recent chorus of Arab condemnation of the Syrian crackdown on dissent, urged Damascus to "immediately" stop the violence and "listen to reason," state-run Petra news agency reported.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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