- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary RodhamClinton says Syria’s President Bashar Assad fits the definition of a war criminal.

Clinton was testifying Tuesday before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the budget for the State Department and foreign operations. She was pressed by Sen. Lindsey Graham about Syria, where the United Nations says more than 7,500 people have died through Assad‘s violence against his people.

Asked if Assad is a war criminal, Clinton said he would fit into that category. She stopped short of saying the international community should make that designation and level charges, pointing out that such a step often makes it difficult for a leader to step down.

Graham and a few other Republican senators have suggested arming the rebels challenging Assad.

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