An estimated 2,000 people have been killed in the five months since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began assaulting the pro-democracy protesters he refers to as terrorists. New attacks left at least 40 dead as Turkey’s foreign minister encouraged the Syrian leader to end the killing. Meanwhile, human rights groups continue to beg the international community to condemn Assad more forcefully and take effective action. –ARK

The Guardian:

Syrian security forces were reported to have launched another wave of violence against pro-democracy protesters on Tuesday as President Bashar al-Assad rejected a Turkish appeal to change tack or meet the fate of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

Human rights groups recorded at least 40 civilians dead on the day that Ahmed Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, met the Syrian leader to issue what was billed as a “final warning” to end the five-month crackdown, estimated by the US as having claimed 2,000 victims.

Syrian’s state news agency, Sana, quoted Assad as telling Davutoglu that he would “relentlessly fight terrorist groups” — the terminology used by Damascus to describe anti-regime protests. Davutoglu returned to Ankara without speaking to reporters but was expected to hold a press conference later.

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