Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has accused the Syrian Government of killing more than 2,000 of its own citizens during its ongoing brutal crackdown against opposition protesters as the Obama Administration moved to further isolate President Bashar Assad and his inner circle.

The Administration is unhappy with Assad's actions in trying to quell the five-month-old uprising.

"We think, to date, the Government is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 people of all ages," Clinton said, repeating the Administration's position that "Assad has lost his legitimacy to govern the Syrian people."

She said the US would "continue to support the Syrians themselves in their efforts to begin a peaceful and orderly transition to democracy" and renewed calls for the international community to isolate Assad and his regime.

Clinton's comments, made at a news conference on Thursday with visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, came just hours after White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Assad is "on his way out" and the Administration hit a prominent pro-regime businessman and his firm with sanctions.

"The actions that he has taken ... are reprehensible and appalling," Carney told reporters. "And we believe that country will be better off without him."

Earlier, the Treasury Department announced that it had slapped sanctions on Assad family confidante Muhammad Hamsho and his firm, Hamsho International Group, that freeze any assets they may have in US jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.

(Agencies)