The White House on Friday called for a stronger international approach for dealing with Syria, unless the violent government crackdowns see a "significant change," White House press secreaty Jay Carney said in a news release.
Syria, like other Arab countries in the Middle East, is experiencing popular political uprisings in the face of repressive governing regimes. The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 76 people through April 22, according to a recent Human Rights Watch article. As many as 112 people may have been killed through late April, though, the article points out. A Reuters article reports that nearly 600 people have been killed so far.
President Obama signed an executive order on April 29 to block the transfer of assets among high-ranking Syrian officials. The latest White House news release says that the Syrian government has not gone far enough or shown willingingess to go far enough to satisfy the administration's demands.
"We strongly condemn and deplore the Syrian government’s use of violence and mass arrests in response to ongoing demonstrations. We again salute the courage of Syrian protestors for insisting on their right to express themselves and we regret the loss of life on all sides," Carney said, according to the release.
While the administration is calling for political reform and the cessation of violence, the news release does not make clear what action would be taken against the Syrian regime. Earlier Friday, the European Union agreed to impose sanctions against the regime after reports that security forces killed 23 protesters.