Washington: The US on Thursday decried the "horrific brutalisation" of the Syrian people by the regime of Bashar al Assad, and said there was need for the international community to act on Syria.
White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news briefing that bringing about a political transition in Syria was of utmost importance to prevent a sectarian civil war in the country.
The Syrian issue, he said, was a matter of great and intense focus "because of the horrific brutalization of the Syrian people and the need for the international community to take actions".
"... The longer this goes on, the longer that Assad and his thugs are allowed to brutally murder the Syrian people, the more likely it becomes a sectarian civil war, the more likely that it spills over Syrian borders, the more likely that it transforms into a proxy war with different players, including, of course, Iran, which is already engaging in malignant behaviour with regards to the Syrian situation, stepping up that kind of activity, and not being alone in doing that," he said.
He pointed out that the incidents in Syria underscore the urgent need to take action to prevent further devolution of the situation, take action to support the process of political transition, to isolate and pressure Assad out of power so that transition can proceed.
"And that`s why we have been working to overcome our differences with the Russians and others on this matter. It`s why we need to have even greater unity in the international community, at the United Nations Security Council, at the United Nations broadly," he said responding to questions.
The Obama Administration, he said, is working within international organisations, to impose further sanctions to isolate and pressure Assad, to support the opposition, to provide humanitarian relief to the Syrian people, and to provide non-lethal aid to the opposition.
"Those are the kinds of things that we`ve been doing both collective action and individual action. And other nations have done the same.
"You see various iterations of how that has transpired just this week, where a group of nations acted in concert to expel Syrian diplomats, where just the other day in a joint US-Qatar designation, sanctions were taken against the Syria International Islamic Bank.
"So these are the kinds of things that we can do with partners or independently," he said.