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More than 5,400 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against Assad’s regime began in March, according to a United Nations count from early last month. Hundreds more are believed to have been killed since then, but the U.N. says the chaos in the country has made it impossible to cross-check the figures.

Despite the continued violence, the White House insists that sanctions and diplomatic pressure are taking a toll on Assad’s regime.

“Ultimately it needs to result in Assad ceasing the violence, stopping the brutality and allowing for a transition supported by the Syrian people,” Carney said.

Associated Press writers Donna Cassata and Anne Gearan contributed to this report.