US Ambassador to Syria Flees After Threats

State media has published more incendiary things about Robert Ford than usual
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 8:42 AM CDT
Bashar Assad supporters holds Assad's portrait and wave Syria's flag in front of the US embassy in Damascus, as they protest against US Ambassador Robert Ford's visit to Hama, July 8, 2011.   (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman, File)
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(Newser) – US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford was pulled from the country this weekend, after the Obama administration received “credible threats against his personal safety,” a State Department spokesman announced today, accusing Bashar Assad’s regime of waging an “incitement campaign” against the ambassador. “At this point we can’t say when he will return to Syria,” the spokesman told the AP, though he added that the US embassy in Damascus will remain open.

That embassy has been targeted several times by violent pro-government demonstrations, ever since Ford visited anti-government protesters in Hama. At one point, protesters even hurled eggs at Ford himself as he met with a prominent protest leader. His residence has also been targeted by attacks, and “articles, more inciting against Ford than usual, have appeared in state media recently,” one diplomat told Reuters.

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