Obama Slams Syria For Violence, Iranian Assistance
"This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now," Obama said in a statement.
"Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria's citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies."
This is not the first time the Obama administration has levied accusations against Assad and the Iranian government. Last week, US diplomats blamed Iranian officials for providing the Syrian government with military equipment to quell protesters and opposition groups.
The White House's calls for an end to violence went unanswered today as thousands more took to the streets.
From the AFP:
The official SANA news agency said security forces intervened using only tear gas and water cannon to "prevent clashes" between protesters and passers-by.
Assad, in power since replacing his father Hafez as president in 2000, issued decrees Thursday scrapping emergency rule, abolishing the state security court and allowing citizens to hold peaceful demonstrations.
But his detractors said the moves were not enough, and the so-called Syrian Local Coordinating Committees of protesters made a raft of demands, urging a halt to the torture, killings and arrests of protesters.
Friday's protests came after a call by Facebook group The Syrian Revolution 2011 for rallies spanning the Christian and Muslim faiths on "Good Friday," which commemorates Jesus Christ's crucifixion.