Violence in Syria: White House calls for an end

Syrian Preident Bashar Assad and his wife Basma are seen here in a photo from 2003. (Photo: Wikimedia)

The White House is among the latest voices speaking out explicitly against the increasing violence in Syria.

“The United States strongly condemns the outrageous targeted killings of civilians including women and children in Al-Qubeir in Hama province as reported by multiple credible sources,” the White House said in a statement Thursday.

“This, coupled with the Syrian regime’s refusal to let UN observers into the area to verify these reports, is an affront to human dignity and justice. There is no justification for this regime’s continued defiance of its obligations under the Annan Plan, and Assad’s continued abdication of responsibility for these horrific acts has no credibility and only further underscores the illegitimate and immoral nature of his rule,” the statement read.

The White House’s statements come as both members of the administration, as well as United Nations heavyweights are speaking out against the increasing violence in Syria. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said U.N. monitors were shot at trying to get to the scene of the latest Syrian massacre this week. U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan was recently in the embattled country, where he called for "every individual with a gun" in Syria to lay down arms.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is currently in Turkey to address the issue with European and Arab envoys, called the actions by the Syrian government "simply unconscionable."

The violence, which is reportedly being carried out largely by pro-government forces, comes months after international calls against Syria’s President Bashar Assad, saying that the leader has lost his legitimacy.

The Assad regime denied any involvement in the latest massacre in the Syrian city of Houla, where over 100 people were killed—many of them children.

The United States, along with several of its allies, have been working for months to put pressure on Syria, both politically and economically—as several sanctions have been imposed against key banks and institutions in the country.

“The future of Syria will be determined by the Syrian people, and the international community must come together in support of their legitimate aspirations. We call once more on all nations to abandon support for this brutal and illegitimate regime, and to join together to support a political transition in Syria—one that upholds the promise of a future for which far too many have already died,” the White House said.