King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has released a statement on Monday via Al Arabiya television condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the escalation of violence and attacks against civilian protestors last week.
King Abdullah's statement urges President Assad to stop the violence and says, "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands before its historical responsibility toward her brothers, demanding the stoppage of the killing machine and bloodshed, and the use of reason before it’s too late."
The statement continued, "What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia."
Abdullah's statement is the first condemnation by an Arab government since the Syrian government has used its power to crack down on protests that began last March.
The statement also follows last week's escalated attacks on civilians and protestors in the city of Hama.
Analysts argue that the statement wields power due to the influence Saudi Arabia has in the region and because it is the toughest statement Assad has received from a regional power since the 5-month bloodbath began.
A U.S. State Department Official responded to the milestone statement saying, "This is another clear sign that the international community, including Syria's neighbors, are repulsed by the brutal actions of the Syrian government and will continue to stand with the people of Syria."
In addition to the statement, Saudi Arabia also took decisive action by recalling its ambassador from the Syrian capital of Damascus Sunday evening.
Kuwait followed Saudi Arabia's lead on Monday and recalled their ambassador to Syria as well.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also appealed to President Assad for the second time in a phone conversation on Saturday asking the Syrian leader to end the violence against civilians.
Syria has been responding to international condemnation with increased violence towards civilians.
After using last week to occupy the city of Hama, the Syrian government has directed its civilian assault on the eastern Sunni populated city of Deir al-Zor. Upwards of 65 people have been killed since tanks rolled into the city on Sunday.
Activists say that up to 2,000 people have been killed since anti-government protests began last March.