February 6th, 2012
08:45 AM ET

BREAKING: U.S. Closes embassy in Syria

By Elise Labott

The U.S. State Department shuttered its embassy in Syria and pulled out its remaining staff Monday after the government refused to address its security concerns, senior State Department officials tell CNN.

The officials said 17 employees, including Ambassador Robert Ford, left the country. Two employees flew out of the Syria last week by commercial air, with the rest of them, including Ford, traveling by convoy Monday morning to Jordan. Most of the staff were evacuated earlier in the year, and the diplomatic team was further reduced in December.

The Syrians were notified about the decision to pull the staff and shutter the embassy after the employees were out of the country, the officials said.

The officials said the deterioration of the situation in the country made it impossible for the embassy to continue operations and for the staff to remain.

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soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Makita Akkuschrauber

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    April 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  2. Ambitoos

    Close our embassy in Russia and China also.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  3. dreamer96

    Syria is the Walmart of Russian weapons sales in the middle east...Attention Shoppers..

    February 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  4. mipolitic

    take obamas lead and run like hell with the rest of obamas dudes. wow now we have 19 americans detained in egypt. carter years are in the past and we cannot afford a repeat them at the exspence of americans. quick run putin is coming.
    hey do not get mad at me, this is obamas work

    February 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • dreamer96

      Kennedy started the Green Berets, but Carter really got Special Forces going...We use to have those kind of SO, teams in WWII...but then reduced the training...

      February 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
    • dreamer96

      Bush would just send in thousands Troops and Tanks and bombers, and shoot anything that moved...that did not win the hearts and minds..or even get the bad guys..which got out of the way and retreated...like Bin Laden..

      February 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply
      • who?

        obama bin laden?

        February 7, 2012 at 3:29 am |
  5. ireuel

    Hows that whole Arab Spring working out? Let see Syria, not good Egypt arrest 19 Americans, might I say one of them is a son of a person in the Administration. Libya. Where do I start. Iraq, sectarian violence. Afghanistan; negotiations with Taliban for our owe surrender. Iran; Russians and China are profiting from that great sanctions plan and may I add they are providing them the resources to build that bomb. Amazing three years, Oh but he single highhandedly got UBL. Yeah and unemployment is going down LOL. How much deficit spending unpatriotic did he say in 2008 when running for office? Really. Yep he is the chosen one and has saved the day for now, but that can is still moving down the road.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • ohuohyea

      Oh, and you think Romney is our answer? "poor people are doing fine" he says. Out of touch and his head is in the clouds with his millions in over seas accounts.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Mister Jones

      No, "he" did not personally "get" UBL. However, as CIC, he does get to take some credit, and put it on his resume. He isn't trying to convince people that he rapelled out of a helo and stormed the compound. He is saying that on his watch, under his order, the most wanted man in the world got ventilated and then thrown off of an aircraft carrier. I call that a damn good job.

      February 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  6. Bezboz

    Despite a good portion of the protesters being peaceful, the overall "revolution" has very strong Islamist undertones. Violence was used from day 1 against the military and Alawaits. These are facts and any Syrian knows them. The reason the opposition is silent about them is trying to keep a cohesive image to the outside world and keep the momentum going.

    To the West and anyone who does not care to be ruled by a mentality from the 5th century: STOP SUPPORTING THOSE FANATICS! They are veiled as peaceful protesters.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • mdreader

      No matter who is causing the bloodshed, it must stop. I am a 2nd generation Syrian-American, and I can assure you, we are aware of the Islamists trying to rip power from the military and the government. Assad has had a chance all along to explain this simply and plainly to the world, but instead, used phrases such as "terrorists, thugs, and hooligans" instead of explaining it exactly as it is. He should have cried out for help to the world, but he didn't, so now it looks only like he is a desparate dictator trying to hold onto his power.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
    • Jesi

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      May 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  7. Marvs257

    Sounds like an "intervention" is on the way. That vote in UN is just for show. The US doesn't wait around for that.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • KaraOK

      Of course violent intervention is imminent. Obama is campaigning for President AND for his second Peace Prize

      February 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  8. alan

    Embassy closings mean one thing...bombs

    February 6, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
  9. TheFatherofLies

    Uh oh, never a good thing. This is just as much an effort to isolate Iran where the west is concerned. We may well be looking at Libya II. I wonder if Assad will get "Gaddafi'd" by his own people.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
  10. Binyamin

    Once again Arabs display that they are the basest creatures unable to show a shred of humanity.

    Let these vermin kill each other. They do seem to be itching to go party with Muhammad in Hell.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • Mona

      you are one despicable person; and one day you will wish you never said these hateful words.
      And you think your comment shows your humanity????
      I feel sorry for people like you.
      I don't even know why I am replying to you. may be because of my real humanity.
      As a country we have been involved in 2 wars for so long, do you think innocent people did not die?do you know how many of our soldiers died?Just get a life.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
      • Binyamin

        Mona you must suck a lot of tiny Arab d!ck

        February 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  11. Republican in Wyoming

    Isnt it about time to get out of the Middle East all together? Maintain what bases we have and use our military under the umbrella of the UN!

    February 6, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • Hahahahahahahaha

      That's not very Republican of you. You're going to lose your GOP card thinking like that!! Maybe you are really a democrat after all. Hahahahahahahaha

      February 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • Republican in Wyoming

        You are so right!! Sometimes I lean toward the Democratic side of me! lololol

        February 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  12. Chris

    Let that country kill themselves.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • Binyamin

      Omayn

      February 6, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • mdreader

      "That country" is where my grandparents came from. I am an American, born here, and love my country, but I do not want Syrians to kill themselves. What an ignorant, stupid, myopic, typically American comment.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
      • drexel

        Typical American comment? What kind of company do you keep? Did Chris identify himself as American? Quit making stupid comments about a country that accepted your & my grandparents & gave them opprotunities they couldn't get in their "country".

        February 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • KaraOK

        "typical American comment" ... such disdain for your host country. Me thinks you should just go ahead and find a new home. I hear France & England love their Arab immigrants a whole bunch. You should look into it.

        February 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
      • Binyamin

        Might be American born but an Arab is still an Arab and can't be trusted

        February 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm |

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