The Syrian regime's violent assault on civilians continued today, even as Ramadan began, highlighting again the brutality and viciousness of the Assad regime. Yesterday, President Obama said that President Assad has shown that he is incapable and unwilling to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people. Today, as the campaign of violence continues, President Assad is further ensuring that he and his regime will be left in the past, and that the Syrian people themselves will be the ones to determine its future.
During what should be a time of prayer and family gathering, we mourn the deaths of all those killed, especially innocent children like Layal Askar, a one-year old killed by a stray bullet from a security officer’s gun in the southern city of al-Hirak. The United States stands with the Syrian people and we condemn the Assad regime's violent campaign against them. We call on President Assad to stop the slaughter now. We call on those members of the United Nations Security Council who have opposed any Security Council action that would call on Assad to stop the killing to reconsider their positions. And we call on the international community to come together behind the people of Syria in this critical time.
As I have said before, President Assad has lost his legitimacy with the Syrian people. Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward.