Al-Qaida affiliates operating in Syria, says William Hague
Source: The Guardian
Britain has for the first time raised the spectre of al-Qaida operating in Syria, while at the same time accusing Damascus of brutally targeting specific communities and driving Syrians to take up arms.
The foreign secretary, William Hague, said regime forces were bombarding neighbourhoods then unleashing militia groups to murder civilians in their homes. He said more sanctions against the regime were likely if the UN-brokered peace plan continued to fail, and again appeared to leave open an option for some sort of intervention in the rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria.
Hague said security assessments had indicated the presence in Syria of al-Qaida, a group disavowed by the main opposition force, the Free Syria Army, but who regime officials insist are at the vanguard of a now raging insurgency.
"We … have reason to believe that terrorist groups affiliated to al-Qaida have committed attacks designed to exacerbate the violence, with serious implications for international security," said Hague in a speech to the Commons.