Washington: The US is in talks with its international partners on the targeted sanctions against the Syrian Government which has been using violence to crush pro-democracy protestors in the country.

"We are consulting with our international partners about other actions that could be taken," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, adding US was considering a set of targeted sanctions against the Syrian regime.

"When we do something like this, we seek to employ targeted financial measures, we try to multilaterise and they tend to be more effective when they're multilateral, or certainly can have a greater impact," he said.

The White House official said the US was looking at the available options.

"We are pursuing a range of possible policy options, including targeted sanctions, to respond to the crackdown and make clear that this behaviour by the Syrian government is unacceptable," he said without giving details on sanctions.

Carney asked the Syrian President to change course now and heed the calls of his own people and said, "US strongly opposes the Syrian government's treatment of its citizens and continue to oppose its continued destabilising behaviour, including support for terrorism and terrorist group.”

At the State Department news conference, Director of Policy Planning Jacob J Sullivan said, "the notion of targeted sanctions aimed at those who are responsible for perpetrating this violence can sharpen the choice for those people and can sharpen the choice for the regime."

"That is the theory behind exploring this potential alternative and I stress that it is not something that we have decided to do yet," he said.

Ultimately the purpose is to send a clear message to the targets of the sanctions and to leave them with a clear choice and make them understand that there are specific costs related to this action, he said.

"We strongly oppose President Asad and the Syrian Government, the actions they have taken against their citizens the arbitrary arrests, the detentions, torture, as well as the continued destabilising behaviour in the region, including support to terrorist groups and terrorism," he said.

Noting that ultimately the future of Syria was up to its people, Sullivan said the way they are acting now is not consistent with the way a responsible government acts against its own citizens or in connection with its international obligations.


(Agencies)