U.K. Foreign Secretary Hague gives statement on Syria

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague gave a statement to Parliament on Monday about the crisis in Syria and what could be done to end the violence.

"The death toll has doubled in the first five months of this year, and now stands at an estimated 80,000 people," Hague said. "There have been well-verified reports of massacres around Damascus by regime security forces, and communities killed in cold blood in villages around Baniyas. Online footage has shown bodies heaped in the streets, and children butchered in their homes. And last week there were unconfirmed reports of further attacks using chemical weapons."

Hague told Parliament of the heightened escalation of violence in Syria and how it has worsened since opposition rose against its leader Bashar Al-Assad. Alongside the violence in Syria, economic and security threats are present for all nations that have taken in refugees.

"The UN assesses that by the end of this year, on these trends, over 3.5 million, or 15 percent of Syria's total population, will have become refugees in other countries," Hague said. "And the Foreign Minister of Jordan has warned that Syrian refugees are likely to make up 40 per cent of his country's population by the middle of next year, with similar numbers predicted for Lebanon."

Hague told Parliament there are two options for how to proceed with regard to the conflict: do nothing and allow further infringements on human rights to occur or aid the nation in negotiating peace.

"With every week that passes we are coming closer to the collapse of Syria and a regional catastrophe, with the lives of tens of thousands more Syrians at stake," Hague said. "We are determined to make every effort to end the carnage, to minimize the risks to the region, and to protect the security of the United Kingdom."