Western and Arab countries opposed to President Assad’s rule, have agreed they will arm rebels.
At a meeting in Qatar, foreign ministers said that each country would be giving urgent military support to the Syrian opposition on the ground.
The countries, who call themselves ‘Friends of Syria’ include the US, Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.
They also called for an immediate withdrawal of Lebanese Hizbollah and Iranian fighters in Syria.
The US accuses the Syrian government of using chemical weapons. US Secretary of State John Kerry said a line had been crossed:
“There is something different that happened today, because of the chemical weapons that have been used, and because of this tension for violence, which has been expressed through the use of Hezbollah and Iranian trans-boundary support. Because of that increase in violence, we have decided that we have no choice, in order to try and carry out this negotiation, but to provide greater assistance of one nature or another.”British Foreign Minister William Hague said there was no other option: “We are all aiming to achieve a political solution, a political settlement in Syria. But that political settlement will not come about if the opposition can be destroyed by force.”
Meanwhile Syrian State TV pictures purporting to be of Hama, claim the government has retaken control of the region. It claims that people are now returning to their villages.
More than 90 000 people have died in two years of conflict.