On the same day that a spokesman for the State Department said Syria's recent defections mean "the regime is crumbling," White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed that "Assad's grip on power is loosening." The White House reiterated its calls for Assad to step down, and Carney said that Assad's "days are numbered."
The comments come as Assad makes his first televised appearance since July 22, meeting with Iran's security chief Saeed Jalili. According to BBC, the two officials discussed the importance of the two nations' alliance.
Meanwhile, RFE/RL reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi will visit Ankara to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The two ministers will discuss the deteriorating situation in Syria, focusing on the recent kidnapping of four dozen Iranians outside Damascus over the weekend. Iran claims those kidnapped were Shi'ite pilgrims, but the rebels released a statement declaring that the Iranians were members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard.