Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Syria's alleged torture and killing of a 13-year-old boy underscores that the Syrian government is making no effort to institute real reforms.
She says she hopes the child didn't die in vain, and that President Bashar Assad's regime ends its brutal crackdown.
The killing has outraged Syrians since images of the body appeared on YouTube.
Syria's government hasn't addressed the claims by an opposition group that its security forces were responsible for the death.
Clinton told reporters Tuesday that the boy's death symbolizes the "total collapse of any effort by the Syrian government to work with and listen to their own people."
Human rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been killed in unrest in Syria since mid-March.