Syrian Crisis Grows; World Leaders Try to Isolate Assad

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has been trying to
build consensus today among foreign leaders for an end to the
violent crackdown by Syria's government.

The White House says Obama spoke separately to British Prime
Minister David Cameron and to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who
agreed that Bashar Assad's government must end its attacks on

So far, the administration has stopped short of calling for
Assad to leave power -- but a U.S. official says that demand will
come "sooner rather than later."

BEIRUT (AP) -- At least five people have been killed in Syria in
a government crackdown in several towns.

Tanks, security agents and pro-regime gunmen targeted protesters
demanding the ouster of President Bashar Assad.

The heaviest assault was in the Mediterranean coastal city of
Latakia (lah-tah-KEE'-ah), where a day earlier thousands had turned
out in protests. A human rights group says at least 20 tanks and
armored personnel carriers rolled into one neighborhood amid
intense gunfire. Many residents fled the area.

The Associated Press could not verify the activists' videos or
accounts of the assault and sweeps in other cities. Syria has
banned most foreign media and restricted local coverage.

Rights groups say at least 1,700 civilians have been killed over
the past five months.

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