Al Jazeera reports:

At least 11 people have been killed when Syrian forces backed by tanks stormed a town near the capital Damascus, Syrian human rights campaigners said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain, said four tanks and a bulldozer entered Kanaker, 30km southwest of Damascus, on Wednesday while 14 other tanks surrounded the town in the latest crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

The rights group said residents threw stones and set fire to tyres in an effort to block the advance of the troops.

Citing witnesses, another rights group - the Syrian National Organisation for Human Rights, which is headed by Ammar Qurabi, an opposition figure - said military intelligence agents also arrested 300 people in the town and took them away in 11 buses.

So, at what point does the Obama administration begin to notice what Lee Smith says is "one of the central events of the young century"? As Smith writes:

In five months, Bashar has killed thousands already. Who knows what the future has in store?

What we’re seeing every day in Syria is remarkable. It is the opposition that has made Syria matter. Now is the time for Obama to commit America to stand with a peaceful movement that is undoing an authoritarian regime that is a state sponsor of terror and a proxy for that larger threat, Iran—a regime opposed to the United States, our interests, our allies, and our principles.

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