Syria

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:46 pm on 6th March 2013.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:46 pm, 6th March 2013

Let me make it clear that I have not announced the arming of the opposition. This is different; it is about increasing the assistance that we give the opposition in the form of non-lethal equipment. The hon. Gentleman is putting the case for an external military intervention, rather than a move to any policy of support for the sending of lethal equipment to Syria. There is a respectable case for that, but as I said earlier to Meg Munn, it would require the willingness of a large part of the international community, almost certainly including the United States, so that we were not making a false promise of safety to people. Syria continues to have strong air defences with very modern equipment, and the implementation of a no-fly zone would be a very large military undertaking. It is important for those who advocate it to bear that in mind.