Peace campaigners accused William Hague of banging the drums of war again today after the Foreign Secretary threatened Syria with "further measures" over its crackdown on protesters.
Mr Hague told MPs that Britain was working with allies in the United Nations security council, the European Union and the Middle East region to send a "strong signal" to Syrian President Bashar Assad that he must halt violence against demonstrators.
At least 11 people were killed on Monday in an escalation of the clashes between protesters and government troops in the city of Daraa, where the uprising began last month.
Mr Hague said Britain was working on possible action against Damascus.
Britain has reportedly joined France, Germany and Portugal in drawing up a draft statement on Syria which is being circulated at the UN.
"The stability of Syria matters to the people of Syria, but also to the region. The only path to stability is through serious reforms, genuinely and speedily implemented, to address the legitimate demands of peaceful protesters," Mr Hague said today.
Chris Nineham of Stop the War Coalition expressed concern over possible plans for military intervention in Syria.
"Mr Hague's comments on Syria underline a growing desire, at least by Britain, to try to shape events in the region.
"It's a pick-and-mix policy that turns a blind eye to atrocities by allies including the Saudi government, Bahrain and Yemen," he said.
"While Britain and its allies wage war on Libya and threaten Syria with similar action the king of Bahrain has been invited to the royal wedding."
Mr Hague told Cabinet colleagues today that Britain and its allies "need to prepare for the long haul" in Libya.
Mr Nineham said this confirmed peace campaigners' fears that Britain would be dragged into yet another long war.
"We've now got so-called advisers on the ground in Libya.
"The next step will be troops on the ground, especially now that the allies have openly committed themselves to regime change," he said.
Mr Nineham reiterated calls for an end to military intervention in the Middle East.
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