© Agence France-PresseUS President Barack Obama speaks in Washington, DC July 29, 2011 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Obama and European leaders condemned a crackdown by Syrian forces, which activists said killed nearly 140 people, and vowed to increase pressure on the regime
US President Barack Obama and European leaders condemned a crackdown Sunday by Syrian forces, which activists said killed nearly 140 people, and vowed to increase pressure on the regime.
Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini also called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, while the European Union denounced the timing of the violence coming on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan.
"I am appalled by the Syrian government's use of violence and brutality against its own people," Obama said in a statement.
"The reports out of Hama are horrifying and demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime.
"In the days ahead, the United States will continue to increase our pressure on the Syrian regime, and work with others around the world to isolate the Assad government and stand with the Syrian people," he added.
Human rights groups said Syrian forces had killed nearly 140 people on Sunday as President Bashar al-Assad crushed dissent on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.