US closes Damascus embassy over security fears

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US closes Damascus embassy over security fears

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The United States has closed its embassy in Syria due to the recent upsurge in violence.

All staff have been pulled out of the country including the US ambassador. The diplomatic team are to continue working from Washington.

The US had warned Damascus it would close the embassy, but the Syrians refused its requests aimed at improving security.

As President al Assad shrugged off Washington’s diplomatic moves, the ambassador Robert Ford took on an increasingly high-profile role in defending the rights of protesters.

Britain is recalling its ambassador to Syria for consultations, and has summoned the Syrian ambassador to the Foreign Office as a protest against the regime’s crackdown on protesters.

“The human suffering in Syria is already unimaginable, and is in grave danger of escalating further. The position taken by Russia and China has regrettably made this more likely. However this government, this House (of Parliament) and our country and our allies will not forget the people of Syria,” Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons.

Meanwhile Russia has accused the West of overreaction following Moscow’s veto of the UN

Security Council resolution endorsing the call for Assad to go.

The Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is due in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with the Syrian leader, said:

“Some of the voices coming from the West, assessing the results of the UN Security Council vote on the Syrian resolution, are indecent I would say, and border on hysteria. In this regard, I recall a proverb to the effect that those who get angry are rarely right.”

Russia and China have defended their decisions to block the UN resolution. Moscow argued the Syrian opposition’s refusal to agree to dialogue encouraged armed ‘extremist groups’. Beijing said its veto did not amount to support for the Syrian leader.