Hillary Clinton Slams Syria's Assad Regime

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday of cynically launching new military assaults while meeting with U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan over the weekend.

"We reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a government's military machine and the actions of civilians under siege driven to self-defense," Clinton told the U.N. Security Council.

"How cynical that, even as Assad was receiving former (U.N) Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Syrian Army was conducting a fresh assault on Idlib and continuing its aggression in Hama, Homs, and Rastan," she said. (Reporting by Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols)