President Barack Obama says Putin's ''client, Mr. Assad, was crumbling'' and the only way to solve the problem in Syria is through a political transition. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Barack Obama says he told Russian President Vladimir Putin the only way to solve the problem in Syria is a political transition that keeps the state and military intact, but is inclusive with President Assad transitioning out of power. During a press briefing at the White House on Friday (October 2) Obama said, "Mr. Putin had to go into Syria not out of strength but out of weakness because his client Mr. Assad was crumbling." Obama said he was prepared to work with Russia, Iran and coalition partners to come up with a political transition in Syria. Russia bombed Syria for a third day on Friday, mainly hitting areas held by rival insurgent groups rather than the Islamic State fighters it said it was targeting, drawing an increasingly angry response from the West. The U.S.-led coalition that is waging its own air war against Islamic State called on the Russians to halt strikes on targets other than Islamic State.. In Syria, the Islamic State is one of many groups fighting against Russia's ally, President Bashar al-Assad. Washington and its Western and regional allies say Russia is using it as a pretext to bomb other groups that oppose Assad. Some of these groups have received training and weapons from Assad's foreign enemies, including the United States.