More people are killed in Syria as emergency talks take place at the UN. But Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt tells Channel 4 News military intervention is not on the agenda.
(Pictured: Army defectors stand on a tank. Channel 4 News cannot independently verify the video from which this still was taken.)
At least eight more protesters have been killed on the first day of Ramadan by security forces in the Syrian town of Hama following the deaths of scores of protesters at the weekend as tanks rolled into the town to try to end a month-long siege.
The latest deaths bring the number of people killed in Hama since Sunday to 150.
Russia has called for an end to the violence ahead of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt told Channel 4 News that this is a significant move and that "we [Britain] have been talking to Russia for weeks to try and persuade them to see the situation differently".
He explained: "They will have more leverage than western countries on Syria... and what we want to see is pressure exerted so the killing stops."
But he stopped short of saying Britain would call for a UN resolution authorising force.
Nobody is talking about military intervention or getting it together. Alistair Burt
He said: "I think we have to deal with the levers we've got and the practicalities.
"Nobody is talking about military intervention or getting it together. A UN resolution at this stage is not going to say that.
"But if it shows the condemnation of the world and if using that means those closer to Syria can exert pressure, then we think that is something that will have an impact."
Monday's violence follows one of the bloodiest days of the five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Activists claim at least 80 civilians were killed in Sunday's assault on Hama, where Assad's father crushed an armed Muslim Brotherhood revolt 29 years ago.
There were reports of dozens of other deaths across the country including the suburbs of the capital Damascus.
Security forces had besieged the Sunni Muslim city of 700,000 for nearly a month before Sunday's crackdown on the eve of Ramadan, a holy month when Muslims fast in daylight hours.
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'Assad out of the picture'
Dr Larbi Sadiki, from the University of Exeter, is an expert in Middle East politics.
He told Channnel 4 News it was a "miscalculation" to carry the attacks at this time but said he did not think President al-Assad was still in charge.
"I think Assad is out of the picture completely - I'd say his brother and others are really in charge."
The Syrian state news agency said the military entered Hama to purge armed groups that were terrorising citizens, an account dismissed as "nonsense" by a US diplomat in Damascus.
The agency said eight police personnel were killed while "confronting armed terrorist groups" in Hama.
Dr Sadiki said friends he had spoken to inside Syria said there had been incidents where people on the streets had used weapons but nothing systematic that was of danger to the state.
Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward. Barack Obama
Footage posted on social media showed large parts of the city covered in smoke, and panic-stricken groups surrounding the bodies of dead or wounded people in the streets as gunfire rang out. The content cannot be independently verified.
US President Barack Obama said he was appalled by the Syrian government's "horrifying" violence against its people in Hama and promised to work with others to isolate Assad.
"Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward," Obama said in a statement.
(Pictured: A man tries to escape gunfire in Kazou neighbourhood in Hama. Channel 4 News cannot independently verify the video from which this still was taken.)
The European Union has extended sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government imposing asset freezes and travel bans on five more people associated with a bloody crackdown on dissent.
Formal approval of the steps, drawn up by the 27 EU governments last week, came after the bloc accused Syria of an indiscriminate "massacre" of civilians in Hama.
In announcing the extension of the sanctions to five more individuals connected to the violence, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton warned there could be further steps "should the Syrian leadership persist in its current path".
More from Channel 4 News: Syrian army hits Hama hard and fast
Turkey, one of Assad's main allies until the uprising, said it and the rest of the Muslim world were "deeply disappointed" by the violence that belied Assad's earlier reform pledges.
The Syrian human rights organisation Sawasiah said the civilian death toll in Hama had risen to 80. The independent group cited medical officials and witnesses in its report.
Syrian authorities have expelled most independent journalists since the anti-Assad unrest began in March, making it difficult to verify reports of violence and casualties.