Damascus: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton say the Syrian government is responsible for more than 2,000 deaths in its crackdown against protests. She spoke as an army assault against protest hub Hama was reported to have killed dozens of people in recent days.Residents of the city say snipers and tanks are firing on civilians and food and medicine are running low.
Activists have dismissed a government decree to allow opposition parties after decades of Baath party rule.
Multi-party rule was a key demand of protesters who have been taking to the streets in large numbers across Syria since mid-March to call for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.
Mrs Clinton repeated an earlier statement that the United States believed Mr Assad had lost legitimacy in Syria.
“We’ve seen the Assad regime continue and intensify its assault against its own people this week,” she said on Thursday.
“We think to date the government is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 people of all ages.”
She added that the US and its allies were working to apply more pressure on Syria beyond the addition of more individuals to a sanctions blacklist.
Human rights have estimated that more than 1,600 civilians have been killed since anti-government protests began in March.
At least 150 people have been killed since Sunday, mainly in Hama, the rights groups say, as the military intensifies its efforts to quell dissent.
Mr Assad blames the current violence on “armed criminal gangs” backed by unspecified foreign powers.