London: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "fast losing the last shreds of his legitimacy", British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday as the regime escalated its crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Syrian forces raked the revolt-hit Mediterranean port city of Latakia with machine gun fire killing dozens, Hague said he was "appalled by the ongoing repression of civilians by the Syrian government".
"The Syrian people are calling for peaceful change; the international community is calling for an immediate end to the violence. Now is the time for President Assad to act in
response to these calls," Hague said in a statement.
"He is fast losing the last shreds of his legitimacy. He must stop the violence immediately."
The statement was the strongest yet by Britain against the Syrian leader.
It comes three days after US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Saudi King Abdullah jointly expressed "shared, deep concerns" about the regime`s use of violence towards its citizens.