Hague condemns 'appalling' Syria massacre
Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned as "shocking and appalling" an alleged massacre of more than 250 people in the Syrian town of Tremseh.
Opposition activists blame the Assad regime for the killings, but the regime says the attacks were the work of "terrorists".
"More than 200 men, women and children appear to have been killed in this latest atrocity," Mr Hague said.
"Everything we have seen of the Syrian regime's behaviour over the last seventeen months suggests that these reports are credible. They demand a united response from the international community."
He called for the UN mission to be given access to Tremseh "quickly and without hindrance" so that an investigation could be carried out.
The UK's representative to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, condemned the "barbaric" massacre, and said there was "absolutely no evidence whatsoever" to support the Assad regime's claim that the opposition was responsible.
"The pattern fits previous patterns of massacres which were clearly perpetrated by the government. I don’t think we can believe a word that comes out of Damascus," he said.
"What this massacre does in terms of diplomatic action is it underlines the urgency for the Security Council to take much stronger action in support of the plan worked out by Mr Kofi Annan."
Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander said it was "vital" the Security Council presses for a full scale arms embargo, in light of the "continuing and appalling violence".
"With the mandate for the UN observers due to expire next week, the international community must be united and resolute in pursuing the steps necessary to stop the killing and allow the political transition to begin," he said.
The latest attack coincides with a report from the Arms Export Control Committee calling on the British Government to review its export licences with a number of middle easterm regimes.