“The Assad regime’s massacre of civilians in Haoula—many of them young children—is horrific,” Romney said in a prepared statement. “After nearly a year and a half of slaughter, it is far past time for the United States to begin to lead and put an end to the Assad regime. President Obama can no longer ignore calls from congressional leaders in both parties to take more assertive steps. The Annan ‘peace’ plan—which President Obama still supports—has merely granted the Assad regime more time to execute its military onslaught. The United States should work with partners to organize and arm Syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves. The bloodshed in Haoula makes clear that our goal must be a new Syrian government, one that contributes to peace and stability in the Middle East and that truly represents the brave Syrian people.”