UK 'could arm Syria rebels'

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the UK can not "rule out" supplying arms to Syrian rebels in the future. Meanwhile, President al-Assad has accused the UK of having a "naive, confused and unrealistic" approach to his country's civil war.

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Hague considers supplying arms to Syrian rebels

William Hague Credit: BBC / Andrew Marr Show

Foreign Secretary William Hague has refused to rule out supplying arms to rebels in Syria - and confirmed more equipment would be sent to them shortly.

He told BBC's Andrew Marr: "I don’t think we can rule that out in the future [but] I will not be announcing, this week, arms to the Syrian opposition."

He added: "We will be giving more assistance directly to the opposition. I will announce in Parliament this week what that will consist of - it will involve more equipment to try and save lives in Syria."

He attacked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for accusing the UK of having a "naive, confused and unrealistic" approach to his country's bloody civil war.

"This is a man presiding over this slaughter... I think this will go down as one of the most delusional interviews that any national leader has given in modern times."

FCO: Assad’s regime is continuing its 'brutality' on Syrians

After almost two years of bloodshed, Assad’s regime continues to wage war against its own people with brutality and without remorse.

It’s appalling atrocities include massacres, torture and an organised policy on sexual violence – which the UN Commission of Inquiry says amounts to both war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Almost 70,000 Syrians have been killed, 4 million are in desperate need and more than 2 million are internally displaced. The conflict is drawing in extremist influences and risks spreading beyond Syria’s borders.

The UK’s objective is to see a diplomatic solution that leads to an end to the violence and a process of genuine political transition.

This is not just our view. It is the view of the Arab League and the vast majority of UN member states.”

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'Bullying Britain' is fanning flames of war says Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said David Cameron’s “naive, confused, unrealistic" government was trying to end an EU arms embargo to enable supplies for the rebels.

He said this would fan the flames of war when the al-Qaeda backed Jabhat al-Nusra, was “killing, beheading, torturing and preventing children from going to school”.

To be frank, Britain has played a famously unconstructive role in our region on different issues for decades, some say for centuries . . . The problem with this government is that their shallow and immature rhetoric only highlights this tradition of bullying and hegemony . . .

Mr Assad made the comments in an interview with The Sunday Times (£).

Syria condemns US support for opposition

The Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has condemned plans by the US Secretary of State John Kerry to give the opposition more than $60 million in aid. The minister spoke at a press conference in Tehran, Iran where he is visiting the regime's supporters.

Ending the violence in Syria should begin with stopping aid resources for rebels and by increasing pressure on Qatar and Turkey and others who support, arm and provide funds to armed terrorist groups, terrorists who are spilling the blood of Syrians and demolishing the financial infrastructure of Syria.

– Walid al-Moallem, Syrian Foreign Minister

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Hague: We cannot stand still while Syria crisis worsens

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