According to human rights groups, Syria’s military has killed over 2,000 civilians since a crackdown on protesters began in mid-March. After repeatedly condemning the violence, the United States is finally calling for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to step down. In a written statement released this morning, President Obama praised the Syrian people for their courage and demanded that Assad remove himself from power.
Obama also announce a new slew of “unprecedented sanctions” against Syria and the Assad regime:
It may come as a surprise that an official call for Assad to step down didn’t happen a long time ago, but then again, it’s mostly an empty symbolic gesture anyway, according to the AP:
Hasn’t Assad, by continuing his brutal campaign of violence over everyone’s objections for months now, already sent an even more powerful signal that the international community can shove it?
This post has been updated with new information.