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Spain condemns ‘intolerable repression’ in Syria

The Spanish government condemned Saturday “intolerable levels of repression” by the Syrian regime in the wake of a deadly attack on the city of Homs and called for a UN resolution “without delay.”

“Spain forcefully condemns the offensive launched yesterday by the Syrian army against the city of Homs in which there may have been more than 300 fatalities,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Faced with the intolerable levels of repression exercised by the Syrian regime, the international community must demand the protection of the civilian population,” it said.

The ministry expressed the hope that the United Nations Security Council would “approve a resolution without delay” with regard to Syria.

Opposition groups Saturday put the death toll from a bombardment of Homs at between 217 and 260 dead. If confirmed, the violence would be the deadliest in the 10-month uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian government denied involvement in the early morning assault, blaming armed groups trying to incite unrest ahead of a UN vote, as television images showed bodies and buildings destroyed in a city turned into a war zone.

A diplomat at the United Nations said the Security Council was expected to vote on a resolution later Saturday.

But there were new objections from Russia, which opposes a resolution that could be used to justify foreign military intervention, or that might call for Assad to quit or for the imposition of an arms embargo on Syria.