As the death toll yesterday climbed to at least 32, the White House hit out at the "outrageous use of violence" to quell protesters.
Spokesman Jay Carney said the Syrian government was leading the country down a "dangerous path" and called for "an immediate end to the brutality and violence".
He added that the US stood by Syrians who were "demanding dignity and the transition to democracy that they deserve".
Meanwhile, the leader of neighbouring Turkey, angered by violence that has sent more than 4,000 Syrians streaming across the border, accused the Assad regime of "savagery."
Backed by helicopters and tanks, the troops responsible for most of yesterday's violence were believed to be from an elite division commanded by President Bashar Assad's younger brother, Maher.
Syrians who escaped from the town of Jisr al-Shughour into Turkey said the army came after police turned their guns on each other and soldiers refused orders to fire on protesters last week.
Doors light fire under bar boss
The owner of a Paris bar dedicated to Jim Morrison is worried his obsession with the late Doors star could cost him his livelihood. Christophe Maillet has received a letter from a lawyer in California saying: "The Doors do not want to be seen as having approved of your establishment and also the consumption of alcohol."
Demo targets nuclear power
Protesters in Tokyo are staging mass demonstrations against the use of nuclear power, as Japan marks the three-month anniversary of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that killed tens of thousands and triggered a nuclear disaster.
The magnitude-9 earthquake that hit off Japan's north-east coast on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that devastated the coastline, knocking out power and cooling systems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
Cholera up as storms hit Haiti
The number of cholera cases is rising in parts of Haiti hit by heavy rains earlier this week.
Alain Legarnec, mission chief for French aid group Doctors of the World, said a clinic in the south-western town of Jeremie treated 77 people for cholera in recent days - a five-fold increase from last week.
That is a five-fold increase from last week and was most likely caused by rising river levels, he said.
22 dead near rebel city
Libyan government forces have pounded the outskirts of the rebel-held city of Misrata, killing at least 22 people, it was reported today. Muammar Gaddafi's forces used tanks, artillery and incendiary rockets in the bombardment of Dafniya, about 18 miles west of Misrata.Three killed in bombing of Sudan village
Sudan: Three people have died following an aerial bombing by northern Sudan on a village in the south as tensions between the two regions continued to escalate days before the south's independence on July 9. Antonov bombers and MiG jets bombed the fishing village of Jau in Unity State.
United States: About 300 rounds were fired during a shoot-out across the Rio Grande between law enforcement officers and suspected drug runners.