Washington: The Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad could be regarded as a "war criminal" given the number of innocent people being killed every day in Syria, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told lawmakers.

"I think that based on definitions of war criminal and crimes against humanity, there would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category," Clinton said in response to a question at a Congressional hearing on Monday.

While replying to a query by Senator Lindsey Graham about whether Assad should be viewed by the international community as a war criminal, she said," I think people have been putting forth the argument but I also think that from long experience that can complicate a resolution of a difficult complex situation because it limits options to persuade leaders, perhaps, to step down from power".

The Secretary of State said that the US is trying to achieve change in Syria without bloodbath.

"I would argue that we need to be looking at Syria from that same prism, that people are literally being slaughtered, and eventually arms were supplied to the Libyan opposition with training," Graham said.

The Senator suggested a Libyan model for Syria by helping the opposition in the country, which has witnessed a bloodbath after its president initiated crackdown on its own people.

Testifying before another Senate Committee, Clinton said there is a much more difficult and complicated set of circumstances in Syria.

"I recently returned from a meeting in Tunis where about 70 countries and organizations were present to try to plot a way forward on Syria.

The potential of supporting the political transition, the humanitarian assistance that they need, ratcheting up pressure the EU just adopted more, tougher sanctions on Tuesday – is what we're all working on, she said.

"Then as you know there's a big debate about, you know, whether there is a feasible way of trying to help the people who are under assault by the Assad regime defend themselves.

So this is at an early stage and there's a lot of good work being done, but there's no plan yet that we can point to," Clinton said.

(Agencies)