This statement from National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor was just sent to reporters by the White House:
"The brutal violence used by the government of Syria against its people is completely deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. 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."
As we reported earlier, witnesses say the Syrian government deployed tanks and snipers to the southern city of Daraa today. It also used force against protesters in other cities. Today's crackdown is the latest attempt by the regime of President Bashar Assad to stop the protests against his government that have been growing in recent weeks.
According to The Associated Press, a witness reports that at least 11 people have been killed today in southern Syria, and that others have been gravely wounded. More people were killed Friday in other bloody crackdowns. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.