Obama - AP - July 22, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama, July 22, 2011. Photo by AP
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U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sunday he was appalled by the Syrian government's use of violence against its people in the city of Hama and promised to work with others to isolate Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Syrian tanks firing shells and machine guns stormed Hama on Sunday, killing at least 100 civilians, according to activists.

"The reports out of Hama are horrifying and demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime," Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

"Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward. In the days ahead, the United States will continue to increase our pressure on the Syrian regime, and work with others around the world to isolate the Assad government and stand with the Syrian people."

At least 100 people were said to have been killed Sunday when the Syrian regime launched a fresh crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Hama. The flashpoint central city was the target of an earlier brutal crackdown in the 1980s, at the hands of the father of the current Syrian leader, Bashar Assad.

On Sunday, tanks stormed the city at dawn, shelling different neighborhoods. Electricity and water supplies to the main areas were cut before the attack began, said Omar Idlibi, a Syrian activist based in Lebanon.

Troops surrounded one of the major hospitals to prevent the wounded from reaching it.

Activists also said that four buses filled with security forces personnel arrived at the Southern entrance of Hama, located around 200 kilometers north of Damascus.

Activists believe that Sunday's attacks are decisive in their battle against the regime.

"The harsh crackdown is a means of telling protesters even if Ramadan starts we will keep killing you if you go out to the streets," Idlibi said. "But we tell them we will continue and won't stop no matter what means you use on us."