Syrian Forces Continue Rampage

U.S. President Barack Obama’s, along with those of some European leaders’, call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down has appeared to have fallen on deaf ears as forces loyal to the 45-year-old leader continued to sow death among protesters .

According to Reuters, at least 14 protesters were killed on Friday, days after Assad reportedly assured U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Syrian forces have stopped their operations against protesters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based group, said two children were among five people killed in the town of Ghabaghab. The claim was refuted by state media, which said that the attack in the town was carried out by anti-government forces, who caused the death of a police officer.

The fresh wave of violence came a day after Obama and his European counterparts made their strongest rebuke of Assad yet. Obama, in particular, accused Assad of “slaughtering his own people.” “The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” Obama said. “His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people.”