An activist in Deir el-Zour on Wednesday said Syrian troops have taken control of the eastern city following intense shelling and gunfire. The activist told the AP the city's eastern Mattar Qadim neighborhood was the last to fall on Wednesday. The city has been under massive attack by the Syrian forces for four days.
Meanwhile, in Washington, officials said the Obama administration will call outright for President Bashar Assad to give up power. The White House is expected to lay out the tougher line by the end of this week, possibly on Thursday.
According to the officials, the move will be a direct response to Assad's decision to intensify the brutal crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators.