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"3000 KILLED" The United Nations says 2,600 people have been killed since Syrians rose up against Assad six months ago, inspired by revolts in North Africa which overthrew leaders of Egypt and Tunisia and have now also ousted Libya's Muammar Gaddafi.
The global activist organization Avaaz said on Friday it had verified the names of 3,004 Syrians killed since the violence erupted in mid-March.
"The Syrian military have either shot men, women and children at peaceful protests or tortured, mutilated and assassinated them in detention," it said. The list included 278 army conscripts, though Avaaz did not say how they died.
Assad has promised reform including a multi-party parliamentary election by February, but has not said whether he would accept any challenge for his own position when his presidential term expires in 2014.
The relentless repression of dissent has triggered U.S. and European sanctions and calls for Assad to step down, but Washington and its Western allies have failed to persuade Russia and China to endorse a tough United Nations response.
The Arab League and neighboring Turkey have called for an immediate end to the bloodshed. "Those who attack their people with artillery and tanks can't remain in power," Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to Libya on Friday.
President Barack Obama will meet Erdogan during the U.N. General Assembly in New York next week and discuss Syria, among other Middle East issues, the White House said.
However, regional countries have not spelled out any punitive action Assad might face, and no country is proposing the kind of NATO intervention which toppled Gaddafi. Assad also retains support from his powerful ally Iran.
"Turkish warships, in the first place, are authorized to protect our ships that carry humanitarian aid to Gaza," Erdogan said in the interview. "From now on, we will not let these ships to be attacked by Israel, as what happened with the Freedom Flotilla."