Washington says its strong stand against Assad has been 'weeks in the making' and is not simply a response to attack the US embassy in Damascus.
In a sharp rebuke of the Assad regime, Secretary of State Clinton called the embassy attack a failed attempt to deflect attention from the brutal crackdown on protesters.
Probably for now. But The US has complained that the Syrian government was slow to protect the embassy from the stone-throwing supporters of Bashar al-Assad who invaded.
Protesters attacked the US and French embassies in Damascus after the countries' ambassadors visited the symbolically key city of Hama. Did Syria allow the attacks or order them?
Syrian government loyalists stormed the US embassy after the ambassador visited Hama, a city that has become a focal point of the protest movement.
The government crackdowns on Homs and Hama continued today, reinforcing the opposition's doubts that the Assad regime will pursue reforms.
Syrian activists staged protests today against the talks, arguing that it's impossible to negotiate with President Bashar al-Assad's regime while it is killing and detaining people.
Speaking at a democracy conference in Lithuania, Clinton said that the US – which has long sought to engage Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – is looking for 'actions, not words.'
The US vows to step up pressure on Syria to stop backing the extremist group Hezbollah, but it has done little to stop President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on protesters.