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He condemned "in the strongest possible terms" Friday's violence, in which 88 protesters were killed, according to activists and witnesses.
"This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now," Mr Obama said in a statement. "Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria's citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies."
The BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones says that, with foreign journalists unable to get into Syria, much of the reporting of the country has depended on footage distributed by opposition activists. The official Syrian news agency said the army had found digital cameras containing short fabricated videos depicting fake repression of protests on Friday. It said armed gangs were carrying bottles of blood to be used in making fake films.
The US designates Syria a state sponsor of terrorism and already has sanctions in place. But some in Washington are now demanding a tougher line, the BBC's Steve Kingstone says. They believe the US could benefit if President Assad were to fall - in part because he is seen as a vital ally of Tehran.