Syria Violence Intensifies-US closes Embassy, pulls diplomats out of Syria! | JamiiForums | The Home of Great Thinkers

Dismiss Notice
You are browsing this site as a guest. It takes 2 minutes to CREATE AN ACCOUNT and less than 1 minute to LOGIN

Syria Violence Intensifies-US closes Embassy, pulls diplomats out of Syria!

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by jmushi1, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. jmushi1

    jmushi1 JF-Expert Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Messages: 17,597
    Likes Received: 1,999
    Trophy Points: 280
    U.S. closes embassy, pulls diplomats from Syria as violence intensifies

    By Alice Fordham, Updated: Monday, February 6, 11:11 AM

    DAMASCUS, Syria - The United States has closed its embassy in Damascus and pulled all diplomats and U.S. staff out of the country, citing security concerns, the State Department said Monday.

    State Department spokeswomanVictoria Nuland said Ambassador Robert S. Ford will continue "his work and engagement with the Syrian people," who have been demonstrating against the government of President Bashar al-Assad for 11 months.

    Assad's government has carried out an increasingly violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrators, with new reports of shelling in the cities of Homs and Zabadani on Monday.

    The United States wants Assad to cede power and make way for a democratically elected government. It supported a U.N. resolution condemning Syria that was vetoed by Russia and China on Saturday.

    While couched in security concerns, the decision to close the embassy could signal a shift in policy toward Syria following the collapse of the U.N. diplomatic efforts. The State Department had long sought to keep the embassy open in order to better monitor the situation in Syria, and to preserve an open channel with the Syrian opposition.

    In recent days, however, the administration's rhetoric has toughened, toward both Syria and its few remaining allies. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday denounced the vetoes by Russian and China as a "travesty."

    Still, the White House has continued to downplay the possibility of a Libya-style military campaign to aid Syria's rebels. President Obama, in an NBC interview broadcast on Sunday, said it was "very important for us to try to resolve this without recourse to outside military intervention."

    "I think that's possible," Obama said. "My sense is that you're seeing more and more people inside of Syria recognizing that they need to turn a chapter . . . This is not going to be a matter of ‘if.' It's going to be a matter of ‘when.' "

    As the revolt and the crackdown edged closer to the capital in recent weeks, U.S. officials voiced growing concern about the security of the relatively lightly protected embassy building.

    Diplomats negotiated with Syrian authorities to be permitted to bring in extra staff and take further measures to secure the embassy, but met with resistance. "We have serious concerns about the deteriorating security situation in Damascus, including the recent spate of car bombs, and about the safety and security of embassy personnel," the State Department said in a recent statement.

    A twin car bombing in December killed dozens of people, many of them from the security forces. It was the first time such a tactic had been used in the city. Syrian authorities blamed the blast on al-Qaeda. Syrian media have reported a number of subsequent explosions, including a bus bomb in the neighborhood of Midan on Jan. 6.

    "The recent surge in violence . . . raised serious concerns that our embassy is not sufficiently protected from armed attack," Nuland said Monday. "We, along with several other diplomatic missions, conveyed our security concerns to the Syrian government but the regime failed to respond adequately."

    Ford, who led U.S. criticism of the Syrian regime in the early months of the uprising, was called home from Damascus in October out of concern for his personal safety but returned to Syria in early December. His meetings with activists and vivid Facebook postings have drawn the Damascus government's ire.

    In Homs on Monday, a barrage of heavy artillery fired by the army hit the city, residents said. The artillery reportedly struck a field hospital in the neighborhood of Baba Amr, a center of opposition to Assad's government.
    Heavy artillery also shook houses near Zabadani, a town where opposition fighters negotiated a truce with security forces more than two weeks ago.

    The onslaught has been going on for several days, according to residents, who said friends and relatives in Zabadani had not been allowed to leave. Soldiers did not allow outsiders to access the town.

    "We continue to be gravely concerned by the escalation of violence in Syria," said Nuland, calling for urgent international action to address the problem.
    Staff writer Joby Warrick in Washington contributed to this report.


    Homs:Capital of Syrian Revolution
  2. jmushi1

    jmushi1 JF-Expert Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Messages: 17,597
    Likes Received: 1,999
    Trophy Points: 280

    TUJITEGEMEE JF-Expert Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    Joined: Nov 6, 2010
    Messages: 10,787
    Likes Received: 2,684
    Trophy Points: 280
    I can smell the ground tussle between West and East conducted under the guise of Military upraising from Homs and Assad regime respectively, but what I am not sure of is whether the South with her allies of Non-Alignment Movement will surface again strongly.
  4. M

    Mtandu Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Messages: 60
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 0
    We are living in moments of deception and I do not think anyone is safe. Now it is Syria, then it will be Iran or Egypt, and who knows the next on the list? Tanzania?
  5. jmushi1

    jmushi1 JF-Expert Member

    Feb 7, 2012
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Messages: 17,597
    Likes Received: 1,999
    Trophy Points: 280
    Pointi yako ndo anayoiongelea Mchina...

    Syria crisis: China defends veto of UN resolution

    Chinese state-run media have defended Beijing's veto of a UN resolution condemning Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters.

    China's top newspapers said the Western push for a regime change in Syria was erroneous, citing previous campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

    The US earlier described as a "travesty" the veto by China and Russia of the UN resolution over the weekend.

    In Syria, government troops have continued attacks on the city of Homs.

    Mortar bombs were falling steadily - about a minute apart - on Sunday, the BBC's Paul Wood in the central Syrian city reports.

    Burials were talking place at night, local officials told our correspondent, as it was too dangerous to do it in daylight because of snipers.

    At least 28 civilians were killed by security forces across Syria on Sunday, mainly in Homs, said the London-based campaign group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    One report quoting the group said an equivalent number of Syrian troops were also killed.

    Human rights groups and activists say more than 7,000 people have been killed by Syrian security forces since the uprising began in March.

    The UN stopped estimating the death toll in Syria after it passed 5,400 in January, saying it was too difficult to confirm.

    The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says at least 2,000 members of the security forces have been killed fighting "armed gangs and terrorists".
    'Seeds of disaster'

    "The draft resolution that sought to realise a regime change in Syria did not adequately reflect the state of affairs" in the country, the China Daily newspaper wrote in its editorial on Monday.

    "By only exerting pressure on the Syrian government and explicitly trying to coerce its leader Assad to step down, the resolution sends the message to armed groups and opponents of his regime that they have the support of the international community.

    "This will undoubtedly make the Syrian situation even more complicated," the article said.

    The newspaper went on by citing the Libyan example, saying that the overthrow of Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime did not bring "democracy and freedom" to Libyans, but pushed the country close to "falling into a sectarian civil war".

    Meanwhile, a commentary in the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party, said: "Vetoing the draft Security Council resolution does not mean we are giving free rein to letting this heart-rending state of affairs to continue."

    Earlier, Russia also defended its decision to veto the UN draft resolution, saying the proposal was unbalanced.
    'Licence to kill'

    The double veto by Beijing and Moscow on Saturday drew an angry reaction from around the world.

    What happened... at the United Nations was a travesty," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
    "Faced with a neutered Security Council, we have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people's right to have a better future," she added.

    Analysts say Mrs Clinton appeared to be alluding to the formation of a grouping of nations similar to the Contact Group on Libya. That group - a collection of Arab and other countries - oversaw international help for opponents of late Col Gaddafi.

    French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called the Russian-Chinese veto a "moral stain" on the UN. He said Europe would strengthen sanctions against Syria and eventually "the regime will have to realise that it is completely isolated and cannot continue".

    The draft resolution - which had already been watered down in an apparent attempt to overcome Russian objections - was supported by 13 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, when it was put to a vote.

    The Syrian National Council, the biggest opposition group, said Russia and China were "responsible for the escalating acts of killing", calling the veto "an irresponsible step that is tantamount to a licence to kill with impunity".

    UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the two countries were making a "great mistake", accusing them of "turning their backs on the Arab world".

    The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says the Russians do seem to be feeling the pressure. They are sending their Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, to talk to President Assad in Damascus on Tuesday.

    Russia would like to help mediate a political solution, but the opposition do not see the Russians as honest brokers, our correspondent says.
  6. jmushi1

    jmushi1 JF-Expert Member

    Feb 7, 2012
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Messages: 17,597
    Likes Received: 1,999
    Trophy Points: 280
    Warusi hawana base nyingine nje ya nchi yao toka kuanguka kwa USSR zaidi ya hiyo iliyoko Syria ambayo ni Navy base iliyoko Port of Tartus, plus the fact that wanawauzia silaha, basi ujuwe hawawezi kuiachia Syria kwasababu it is their last colony in the middle east.