US secretary of state Hillary Clinton met a few US-based Syrian activists in Washington as the American government mulls more sanctions against the Syrian government.
During the meeting, Clinton expressed "her sympathy for the victims of the Assad regime's abuses," Xinhua quoted State Department spokesman Mark Toner as saying at a press briefing.
He said Clinton also expressed her "admiration for the courage of the brave Syrian people who continue to defy the government's brutality in order to express their universal rights".
Toner added Clinton expressed confidence in "the Syrian people's ability to chart a new course for Syria".
He said the US plans to "move forward with additional sanctions under existing authorities" and it is "exploring the scope" of the these sanctions.
"Our goal here is to isolate Assad, both politically and deny it revenue," Toner said.
Syria has been in unrest since March when anti-government protests broke out.
The US has been building up pressure on Syria in recent months, during which it also slapped sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his inner circle and assets controlled by the Syrian government.
US President Barack Obama has vowed America will continue to increase pressure on Syria to isolate Assad and his government.