UK to provide armored cars to Syrian rebels

UK to provide armored cars to Syrian rebels
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Published March 7th, 2013 - 08:14 GMT via

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The UK is to increase its non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels
The UK is to increase its non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels
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William Hague

The [UK's] Foreign Secretary William Hague says the number of people who have died in Syria since the start of the civil war stands at more than 70,000.

He also said the UK will increase the military aid sent to Syrian opposition forces, including supplying armoured vehicles and body armour.

Mr Hague told the House of Commons on Wednesday that efforts are being stepped up in a bid to resolve the crisis which has reached "catastrophic proportions".

After securing a relaxation of an EU arms embargo, the Foreign Secretary said he had ordered "more active efforts" to provide non-lethal military equipment to protect civilians.

Testing equipment to provide evidence of any use of chemical weapons by the regime and training for armed groups in international human rights and legal standards is also being sent.

"All our assistance will be carefully calibrated and monitored as well as legal, and will be aimed at saving life, alleviating this human catastrophe and supporting moderate groups," he said.

"In our view if a political solution to the crisis in Syria is not found and the conflict continues, we and the rest of the European Union will have to be ready to move further, and we should not rule out any option for saving lives."

It came as the number of refugees fleeing the country reached what he called the "sad milestone" of one million refugees.


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