More protests have been reported in Syria on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, the three-day Muslim holiday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Syrian activists say security forces opened fire in several areas, killing at least seven people, including four in the southern province of Daraa and one in the central city of Homs.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on Syria's foreign minister and two other top officials.
Asset freezes and bans on business interactions were imposed on Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, top presidential adviser Bouthaina Shaaban, and Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali.
Earlier, the United States said Assad was finding his government "increasingly isolated."
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that "the international community is increasingly speaking with one voice in demanding an immediate end to the violence."
Nuland referred to recent calls by Turkish President Abdullah Gul and the Arab League for an end to the violence in Syria.
Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, said Assad met on August 29 with senior Russian envoy Mikhail Bogdanov, who gave Moscow's backing to Assad's plans for reform in Syria.
The United Nations says some 2,200 people have been killed since the start of the uprising in March.
compiled from agency reports