US warns Syria's Assad to stop killing

Activists say security forces kill 111; White House warns: Int'l community will up pressure if Arab plan not implemented.

By REUTERS
December 21, 2011 19:16
1 minute read.
Syrian President Bashar Assad

Syrian President Bashar Assad 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/SANA/Handout)

WASHINGTON - The United States said on Wednesday it is "deeply disturbed" by reports of the indiscriminate killing of scores of Syrian civilians and army defectors and warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that the violence must stop.

Activists said Syrian forces killed 111 people ahead of a mission to monitor Assad's implementation of an Arab League peace plan, which White House press secretary Jay Carney called a flagrant violation of Damascus' commitment to the deal.

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"We urge Syria's few remaining supporters in the international community to warn Damascus that if the Arab League initiative is once again not fully implemented, the international community will take additional steps to pressure the Assad regime to stop its crackdown," he said in a statement.

Washington has called repeatedly for Assad to step down since authorities launched a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators seeking his ouster, and said the latest killings were further evidence he did not deserve to rule.

"Bashar Assad should have no doubt that the world is watching, and neither the international community nor the Syrian people accept his legitimacy," Carney said.

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