After bloody day, US praises Syrian protesters for courage
The United States Friday threatened further steps against the Syrian government at the end of another day of bloodletting, and praised protesters for pushing for change, DPA reported.
"We again salute the courage of Syrian protesters for insisting on their right to express themselves and we regret the loss of life on all sides," the White House said in a statement.
At least 12 demonstrators and five soldiers were killed Friday when thousands of Syrians staged fresh protests against President Bashar al-Assad across Syria.
The statement by the White House press secretary followed steps earlier in the day by the European Union to issue a weapons embargo on Syria and sanctions against its leaders.
Over the past weeks as protests mounted, various sanctions have been imposed. The EU's sanctions on Friday as well as US sanctions last week did not specifically target President Bashar al-Assad, but rather singled out high ranking members of his regime who have been involved in the suppression of opposition protests.
"Over the past two weeks it has been made abundantly clear that the Syrian government's security crackdown will not restore stability and will not stop the demands for change in Syria," the White House press secretary said.
The White House said that the United States and its international partners would "take additional steps to make clear our strong opposition to the Syrian government's treatment of its people" if the Syrian government does not end its "killing of protesters" and stop arresting activists.
The US also welcomed the EU's decision ti impose sanctions, the statement said.