Assad must go, says ... Jordanian king

Jordan’s King Abdullah said Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad should step down, making him the first Arab ruler to issue such a call over the regime’s deadly crackdown on an 8-month-old uprising.

The surprising statement comes as Arabs close ranks against Damascus. On Saturday, the Arab League voted to suspend Syria over attacks on protesters that the U.N. estimates have killed 3,500 people since mid-March.

“If Bashar (Assad) has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life,” Abdullah told the BBC in an interview.