US Pulls Ambassador Out of Syria

Monday, 24 Oct 2011 06:52 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The United States has pulled its ambassador out of Syria over security concerns after his cultivation of contacts with protesters led to attacks on his embassy and residence by backers of President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said on Monday.

Robert Ford left Syria over the weekend, the Western diplomats told Reuters, following a series of incidents that resulted in physical damage but no casualties.

"Articles, more inciting against Ford than usual, have appeared in state media recently. He left on Saturday," said one of the diplomats, who like others asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

U.S. embassy officials were not immediately available for comment.

Ford, a veteran diplomat, infuriated Syria's rulers by getting in touch with a seven-month-old grassroots protest movement demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule.

Ford was cheered by protesters when he went in July to the anti-Assad hotbed city of Hama, which was later stormed by tanks. He also visited a town that had witnessed regular protests in the southern province of Deraa, ignoring a new ban on Western diplomats travelling outside the Damascus area.

Along with a group of mostly Western ambassadors, Ford later paid condolences to the family of Ghayath Matar, a 25-year-old protest leader who had distributed flowers to give to soldiers but was arrested and died of apparent torture, activists say.

Washington, seeking to convince Assad to scale back an alliance with U.S. arch-foe Iran and backing for militant groups, acted to improve relations with Damascus after President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Obama sent Ford to Damascus in January to fill a diplomatic vacuum prevailing since Washington withdrew its ambassador in 2005.

But relations deteriorated anew after the uprising broke out and Assad ignored international calls to respond to protester demands that he dismantle the Syrian police state and allow political pluralism.

In an interview with Reuters last month, Ford said Assad was losing support among key constituents and risked plunging Syria into sectarian strife by intensifying a military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Time was running against Assad, he said at the time.

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Taliban Strength, Afghan Army Failures Spur Growing US Role

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 16:16 PM

As U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan, there are mounting questions about the ability of Afghan security forces to pr . . .

Hagel's Abrupt Exit Unique for Cabinet Member From 'Other Party'

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 15:54 PM

As unexpected as the news was Monday that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was resigning, what is even more stunning is  . . .

Twitterverse Oozes With Anticipation of a Chuck Hagel Tell-All

Monday, 24 Nov 2014 15:23 PM

As Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned Monday, political cynics were relishing the prospect of another tell-all book  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved