The White House is strongly condemning what it says is the Syrian government's brutal repression of demonstrations and the killing of civilians by security forces.
In a strongly worded statement, White House press secretary Jay Carney says those responsible for the violence must be held accountable. He says the U.S. is calling on the Syrian government to exercise restraint and respect the rights of its people.
Syria's government pledged Thursday to consider lifting restrictions on political freedom and civil liberties in an attempt to stop a week-long uprising in a southern city from spreading. But the promises were immediately rejected by many activists who called for demonstrations around the country Friday in response to a crackdown that protesters say killed dozens of anti-government marchers in the city of Daraa.