President Barack Obama says Russia and Iran must decide whether they want to prop up Syrian President Bashar Assad or "save the Syrian state" by finding a Syrian government that can be legitimate.
Obama is speaking during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He says it's unimaginable that Syria's civil war can be stopped without Assad leaving power. He says Assad "cannot regain legitimacy."
U.S. & World
Obama says the goal of recent diplomatic efforts is to create space that could eventually lead to a "pivot" and political transition. He says a hoped-for cease-fire might not be observed by all parties but would create "pockets of calm."
Obama's comments come amid U.S. hopes that Russia may be warming to the idea of a future Syria that doesn't include Assad.