UK to 'step up' rebel support
William Hague has pledged to "step up" efforts to support the Syrian opposition, as fighting intensifies around the second city of Aleppo.
Speaking on Sky News, the Foreign Secretary warned the country would see "even more bloodshed" as Assad's forces "build up for something bigger".
"We're all for diplomatic work but given the situation, we will step up, of course, our humanitarian assistance but also our practical help to the opposition," Mr Hague said.
"It is a bleak time for Syria. There will, I think, sadly be even more fighting, more bloodshed, probably a bigger flow of refugees...Now I'm afraid the situation, we've warned about it for a long time - a collapse in Syria to an even more deadly conflict."
His comments come after skirmishes broke out near famous landmarks and former pillars of state control in the country's oldest city.
After weeks of fighting, rebels claim they are close to taking control of Aleppo, however regime troops are being sent to bolster defences in parts of the city that the regime still holds.
Meanwhile, reports that Britons were among Islamist militants who kidnapped two photographers in Syria are being taken "very seriously", the Foreign Office has said.
The Office said it was closely "monitoring the situation", after photographers John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans - who were kidnapped and wounded in July - said "between 10 and 15 young jihadists from the UK" were among their captors.