UN approves resolution condemning 'gross' rights abuses in Syria

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution initiated by Saudi Arabia expressing outrage at "widespread and systematic gross violations" by Syrian authorities.

The resolution also expresses "grave concern at the spread of extremism and extremist groups" in Syria.

The resolution is highly critical of the regime of President Bashar Assad. It also condemns the "large-scale use" of chemical weapons.

The Syrian ambassador to the U.N., Bashar Ja'afari, called the resolution "outrageously hostile."

General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, but they are a strong expression of world opinion. The divided Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, is largely stalled on taking strong action on the Syria conflict.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in more than two years of fighting between the Syrian government and opposition groups.