William Hague has said that Britain does not have to wait until an August 1 meeting of European Union foreign ministers before taking a decision to arm Syria's rebels, but also stressed that no decision had yet been made.
"I must correct one thing of concern. I know there has been some discussion of some sort of August deadline. That is not the case," Hague told BBC radio.
Fears are growing of an arms race in Syria after EU countries agreed they could arm rebels while Russia could give missiles to the regime.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said a "clear message" had been sent to Assad's regime after the EU decided to lift the Syrian arms embargo.