I am deeply troubled that the Syrian Government chooses to continue to use force and intimidation against the Syrian people. The United States condemns in the strongest terms the Syrian Government’s actions over the past five weeks and calls on it to immediately cease the killing, arrest, and harassment of protestors, activists, and journalists. I am particularly troubled by ongoing reports of deaths of citizens at the hands of the Syrian Government, including accounts today that at least 30 people were killed when Syrian security forces again opened fire on peaceful protestors throughout the country. On behalf of the United States, I extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.
The Syrian people, like people everywhere, have the inherent right to exercise their universal freedoms, including peaceful assembly, expression, and speech. The Syrian Government must respond to the Syrian people’s call for change. It must realize that violence and intimidation will not answer their call.
The Syrian Government’s actions are neither those of a responsible government nor a credible member of the international community. We will continue to hold to account senior Syrian officials and others responsible for the reprehensible human rights abuses against the Syrian people. We welcome the European Union’s decision to join us in these efforts with similar steps. We will also continue to work both unilaterally and with our international partners to determine the most effective next steps if the Syrian Government chooses not to abandon its current path.