London 'concerned' by Syrian violence

June 13, 2011 at 10:06 AM
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LONDON, June 13 (UPI) -- London is deeply concerned by the number of people fleeing Syria in response to a military crackdown, a British minister said.

Syrian forces took control over Jisr al-Shoghour with around 160 tanks accompanied by an attack helicopter, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Foreign media have limited access to Syria. The official Syrian Arab News Agency reports military forces are dealing with an insurgency and his government said it is taking steps to investigate the conflict.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague in a statement said London was "deeply concerned" about the violence and called on Damascus to let international humanitarian workers into the country.

"We will continue to work with our international partners, including in the U.N., to condemn the repression in Syria and call for the Syrian government to meet their people's legitimate demands," he said. "The violence is unacceptable and must stop."

The British and French governments last week introduced a draft resolution at the U.N. Security Council that condemns the crackdown in Syria.

Human Rights Watch in a statement said the Security Council needs to take action against Damascus.

"The Security Council's complete silence in the face of mass atrocities against the people of Syria is emboldening the Syrian government in its bloody crackdown," Philippe Bolopion, U.N. director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch claims the death toll in Syria since March has topped 1,100.

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