Syrian assault on Aleppo "utterly unacceptable": UK

LONDON Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:48am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - The Syrian government assault on the city of Aleppo is an "utterly unacceptable escalation" of the conflict, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Friday.

"I am deeply concerned by reports that the Syrian government is amassing its troops and tanks around Aleppo, and has already begun a vicious assault on the city and its civilian population," Hague said in a statement.

"This utterly unacceptable escalation of the conflict could lead to a devastating loss of civilian life and a humanitarian disaster," he added.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's artillery pounded rebel-held areas around Aleppo on Friday, preparing the ground for an onslaught on Syria's biggest city where the United States has said it fears a "massacre" may be imminent.

(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; editing by Steve Addison)

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