'More than 2,000 dead in Syrian crackdown'
Washington, Aug 5: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has accused the Syrian government of killing more than 2,000 of its own citizens during its ongoing brutal crackdown against opposition protesters as the Obama administration moved to further isolate President Bashar Assad and his inner circle.
The administration is unhappy with Assad’s actions in trying to quell the five-month-old uprising.
“We think, to date, the government is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 people of all ages,” Clinton said on Thursday, repeating the administration’s position that “Assad has lost his legitimacy to govern the Syrian people.”
She said the US would “continue to support the Syrians themselves in their efforts to begin a peaceful and orderly transition to democracy” and renewed calls for the international community to isolate Assad and his regime.
Clinton’s comments, made at a news conference with visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, came just hours after White House press secretary Jay Carney said Assad is “on his way out” and the administration hit a prominent pro-regime businessman and his firm with sanctions.
“The actions that he has taken ... are reprehensible and appalling,” Carney told reporters. “And we believe that country will be better off without him.”
Earlier, the Treasury Department announced that it had slapped sanctions on Assad family confidante Muhammad Hamsho and his firm, Hamsho International Group, that freeze any assets they may have in US jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.
The penalties did not target Syria’s energy sector, something administration officials had repeatedly suggested was coming. Officials said those sanctions, which are expected to hit state-owned and state-affiliated oil and gas companies that are a leading revenue source for the government, are still in the works and could be unveiled in coming days.
Treasury Undersecretary David S. Cohen said Hamsho, who is also a member of Syria’s parliament, had become wealthy through his connections to Assad and his brother, Mahir, and other members of the regime who have ordered the crackdown on the five-month-old uprising.
Cohen said Hamsho “earned his fortune through his connections to regime insiders” and has continued to support Assad. Hamsho’s holding company has about 20 subsidiaries ranging from construction, civil engineering, telecommunications and hotels to carpets sales, horse trading and ice cream production.
Calls for additional steps have been growing since Sunday when the regime ordered troops into the restive city of Hama, where they have shelled buildings and shot indiscriminately at residents.
Rights groups say more than 100 people have been killed since the siege of Hama started on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The European Union imposed additional sanctions on Syria this week and on Wednesday, the UN Security Council condemned the violence. AP
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 6 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM WORLD
- 'More than 2,000 dead in Syrian crackdown'
- Pallone introduces resolution on Kashmiri Pandits in US House
- Why you recognise someone, but can't name him
- AIDS cases in US at 50,000 per year
- NASA finds signs of flowing water on Mars
- Yingluck Shinawatra becomes Thailand's first woman PM
- Wikipedia says it’s losing contributors
- Randi Zuckerberg leaving Facebook to start company
Cellphones used for unfair means
Srinagar, Aug 5: Final year MBBS students in Government Medical College Srinagar have been caught red-handed by Kashmir University authorities copying from cellphone and paper material. The incident occurred More
- Srinagar City
Venturing out for prayers during dark is getting difficult in the City with over one lakh and growing canines on prowl while the government is yet to get rid of the menace
Srinagar, Aug 5: Parvaiz Khan, Bilal Khan, Farooq Ahmed and engineer Arjumand –neighbors in Barbarshah locality make it a point that they go to Masjid for Tarawi and Fajr prayers together. Also, they don More
Work in govt offices remains partially affected
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Aug 5: Work was partially affected in the Government departments across Jammu region as a section of the employees went on two day strike from today to protest delay in the release of 6th Pay Commission More
- South Asia
REZAUL H LASKAR/PTI
Islamabad, Aug 5: Claiming there were "all time high security threats," Pakistan navy has moved away its main battleships out of its Mehran naval base in Karachi to the Makran coast in Balochistan.  More
Washington, Aug 5: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has accused the Syrian government of killing more than 2,000 of its own citizens during its ongoing brutal crackdown against opposition protesters More