file. Syrian rescue teams at scene of explosion, Aleppo, Syria/AP
By Bradley Klapper, Associated Press
ISTANBUL (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Syria's recent violence is "simply unconscionable" and is blaming President Bashar Assad for "doubling down" on his harsh crackdown.
Referring to reports of a new massacre in central Hama province, she says Syria cannot be a peaceful, stable and democratic country until Assad leaves power.
Speaking in Turkey, Clinton says she and more than a dozen top foreign officials she has met have agreed on a set of principles for a new Syria.
They include the need for Assad to leave power and depart Syria -- explicitly calling for Assad's exile.
Syrian opposition groups say scores died in new violence on the outskirts of Hama. One organization claims pro-government militiamen killed at least 78. Syria rejects the claims as "absolutely baseless."