British PM condemns `disgraceful` Syria crackdown

David Cameron calls for more pressure to be put on the Syrian government.

Updated: May 01, 2011, 20:22 PM IST

London: Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday condemned Syria`s "disgraceful and unacceptable" crackdown on anti-regime protesters and called for more pressure to be put on the government.

Troops killed six civilians in the southern flashpoint city of Daraa on Saturday, a day after at least 66 people were killed when tens of thousands of people demonstrated across the country, activists said.

Cameron told BBC television: "It is a completely disgraceful and unacceptable situation to see this regime killing so many of its own people.”

"Clearly in Syria we need to do more to step up the pressure on that regime to show internationally this is not acceptable.”

"We`ve started that process in the European Union but I think we have further to go and more to do."

Asked why the West had intervened in Libya but not Syria, Cameron said there were key differences between the situations in the two countries.

"In Libya, we were asked by the Arab League to go into that country, we were asked by the Libyan people, we were backed by a UN Resolution," he said.

Protesters say at least 582 people have been killed by security forces since demonstrations erupted and Syria became the latest country to be rocked by the unrest that has seized Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya.

The United States has imposed fresh sanctions on Syria, blocking the assets of President Bashar al-Assad`s brother Maher, who commands Syria`s feared Fourth Armoured Division, and of several other officials and its intelligence services.

Bureau Report