Conflict & Justice

Syrian regime responsible for more than 2,000 deaths says Clinton

The Syrian regime is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 people in the country, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has said.

Clinton condemned President Bashar al-Assad's actions, saying he has lost legitimacy to govern Syrian people, the Hindustan Times reports.

"We think to date, the (Syrian) government is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 people of all ages, and the US has worked very hard to corral and focus international opinion to take steps toward a unified response to the atrocities that are occurring," Clinton told reporters at a Washington news conference with her Canadian counterpart.

"We stand fully behind the UN Security Council presidential statement, which was agreed to last evening, which condemns the widespread violation of human rights and the use of force against civilians by Syrian authorities," she said on Thursday.

Clinton said Assad has lost his legitimacy to govern the Syrian people.

"We call, along with the UN Security Council, on the authorities to end all violence against affected towns, comply with their obligations under applicable international law, allow immediate and unfettered access for international humanitarian agencies and workers," she said.

"We continue to support the Syrians themselves in their efforts to begin a peaceful and orderly transition to democracy," Clinton said.

It reports:

On Tuesday, Clinton along with a group of US-based Syrian activists and members of the Syrian-American community expressed her solidarity and sympathy for all Syrian victims of Assad regime’s abuses.

"We are seized of the concerns posed by what is happening in Syria, and we know that it’s taken time to pull together a broader international coalition to speak out against what is happening in Syria," she said.

"We are committed to doing all we can to increase the pressure, including additional sanctions, but not just US sanctions, because frankly, we don’t have a lot of business with Syria," Clinton added.

"We need to get Europeans and others. We need to get the Arab states. We need to get a much louder, more effective chorus of voices that are putting pressure on the Assad regime, and we’re working to obtain that," the secretary of state said.

Clinton said the US is working very hard to increase the international will on this issue.

"What happened last night in the Security Council could not have happened a week ago. So in effect, other governments, other people’s voices are starting to be heard, and we think that’s essential," she said.

Syrian tanks have tightened their occupation of Hama as Bashar al-Assad ignored the increasing international condemnation of attacks of Syrians opposing his rule, Reuters reports.

Syrian human rights activists said Thursday that Syrian government forces had killed more than 100 people in Hama in the 24 hours since seizing control of its central square with armored columns and snipers, the New York Times reports.