Can get Marines to Jordan overnight, but can’t respond to our people fighting for their lives in Benghazi.
The “intense discussions” followed the US announcement on Thursday that it will increase military support to opposition fighters after Western intelligence agencies confirmed that the Syrian regime had crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons.
“We will be discussing that response urgently with the United States, France and other countries, including at the G8,” said William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, calling for “a strong, determined and coordinated response from the international community”.
The sudden intensification of conflict on the ground, which saw the rebels lose the strategic city of Qusayr a week ago, sets up a renewed diplomatic confrontation between Russia and the West at next week’s G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Added urgency was provided by the disclosure from David Cameron that rebel groups affiliated to al-Qaeda “have attempted to acquire” chemical weapons for use in Syria, citing briefings from British intelligence.