(changes dateline, re-ledes with vote in British Parliament)
Britain's House of Commons voted 285-272 on Thursday against a motion that would have opened the door to British participation in a U.S.-led strike on Syria to punish President Bashar Assad's regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons.
"The British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action," Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledged after the vote.
Cameron, who favors an attack on Syria, had hoped to win over the opposition Labor Party and skeptics in his own party by amending his original proposal to delay any decision until U.N. inspectors complete their work.
The revised motion also established that Parliament would have to be consulted again before any commitment of British military forces or assets.
But the opponents of military action stood firm.
The U.N. team investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria's government plans to submit its preliminary report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as soon as it leaves the Middle Eastern nation on Saturday.
Ban said during an appearance in Vienna that he spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday and told him the United Nations wanted more time for the inspectors to finish their mission.
"I expressed my sincere wish that this investigation team should be allowed to continue their work," Ban said.
The United States is preparing for a military strike against Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack on the rebel-controlled Ghouta area outside Damascus, where the opposition alleges the Assad regime killed more than 1,000 people on Aug. 21.
Assad, meanwhile, told a group of Yemeni lawmakers on Thursday that his country was prepared to defend itself from any foreign military attack.
More than 92,000 people died in Syria's internal conflict between March 2011 and April 2013, according to a report released in June by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. EFE