Washington - The United States is considering seeking targeted sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime amid reports that it unleashed tanks and troops in an escalating crackdown on a peaceful nationwide uprising, the White House said Monday. The announcement came amid criticism of the Obama administration for refraining from mounting the same kind of aggressive response to Assad’s bloody onslaught against the pro-reform protests as it did to the use of force against demonstrators in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.
“The brutal violence used by the government of Syria against its people is completely deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement. “The United States is pursuing a range of possible policy options, including targeted sanctions, to respond to the crackdown and make clear that this behavior is unacceptable.”
“The Syrian people’s call for freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and the ability to freely choose their leaders must be heard,” Vietor said.