Britain presses Syria's Assad on promised reforms(Read article summary)
A draft UN Security Council statement condemning Syria's use of violence has stalled, with China, Russia, and Lebanon opposing the initiative.
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As the international community considers its options for punishing the Syrian government, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said today that there is still time for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to "do the right thing," ending the use of violence against protesters and implementing reforms.
However, the protesters – and increasingly, members of the international community – seem to think that point has passed. Al Jazeera reported that on Wednesday an umbrella group of activists issued a statement insisting on a democratic transition and said that if Mr. Assad does not want to be a part of the process, then "there is no alternative left for Syrians."
According to Syrian human rights organizations, more than 400 people have died since unrest began in the southern city of Deraa almost two months ago. The government has brutally put down the protests, and international condemnation has not lessened its resolve to hold on to power. More Syrian Army troops were sent into Deraa today after Monday's initial foray, and there were reports of gunfire, the Associated Press reports. Troops entered the Damascus suburb of Douma for the first time today as well.
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