Syria crisis: As it happened

Key points

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry says Syrian government forces killed 1,429 people in a chemical weapons attack in Damascus last week
  • Germany has ruled out participating in any military strike
  • France's president says a UK vote against intervention does not change his resolve for firm action (All times BST)

Live text


  • Taylor Brown 
  • Daniel Nasaw 

Last updated 31 August 2013


Hello, and welcome to our live coverage of the crisis in Syria. We will report the latest developments after British MPs rejected military action on alleged chemical weapons attacks.


The US and UK say the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind chemical attacks on civilians in the Ghouta area of Damascus last week - a claim denied by the Syrian leadership, which blames the rebels.


This from Reuters' editor-at-large Hugo Dixon: "Never in modern history has a British prime minister lost a parliamentary vote authorising military force. Cameron may cling onto power, but his authority at home has taken a hit. So has his standing abroad, and Britain's influence."


Hassan Hassan, Abu Dhabi

tweets: The irony of the British parliament striking down the strikes is: democracy 'saved' the criminal dictator who denies it to his own people.


Doctor Rola

A BBC team inside Syria has witnessed a fresh horrific incident - an incendiary bomb dropped on to a school playground in the north of the country, which has left scores of children with napalm-like burns over their bodies.


Conservative MP Richard Bacon - who voted against Mr Cameron - tells the BBC he doesn't think the result of the vote has humiliated the PM. "I don't think that's humiliation - that's democracy," he adds.


News channel Al-Arabiya TV is quoting Syrian opposition activists saying that government forces have moved their headquarters to the premises of schools and universities. They also say the army has moved dozens of missiles and missile launchers from a military base in northern Damascus as a "protective measure" against a possible Western strike.


Sam Dagher, Middle East correspondent, The Wall Street Journal

tweets: Sound of intermittent heavy artillery hitting outskirts can be heard this morning in parts of #Damascus #Syria