U.S. may close embassy in Syria
The Obama administration is preparing to evacuate American personnel and close the U.S. embassy in Damascus by the end of this month unless the embattled government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad provides additional security, senior administration officials said.
“Unless we see that,” one official said of ongoing security discussions with the Assad government, “we have no choice.”
July 11, 2011: Syrian government supporters smashed windows at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, raised a Syrian flag and scrawled graffiti calling the American ambassador a “dog” in anger over the envoy’s visit to an opposition stronghold, witnesses said.
The move follows a recent spate of car bombings. Although the administration has not ruled out Syrian government responsibility for the attacks, officials said signs point to Syrian and Iraqi militants that have been affiliated with al-Qaeda.
“The security situation across Syria, which is deteriorating with each day that Assad clings to power, demonstrates further that Assad is losing control of the country and reinforces our point that Assad has lost all legitimacy,” the official said.