February 6th, 2012
10:54 AM ET

Why leave Syria

By Elise Labott

One telltale sign a country is on the verge of collapse is when the U.S. embassy shutters its doors and gets out of Dodge. That threshold has now been crossed in Syria.

After weeks of pleading with Syrian authorities to beef up protection of the U.S. Embassy to no avail, the State Department was forced to pull out its skeleton staff and close the embassy. Most of the staff members were evacuated earlier in the year, and the diplomatic team was further reduced last month.

The decision to close the embassy is a big one, one not made easily. U.S. officials insist the move does not mean Washington is severing relations with Damascus.

But even though the United States isn't ending diplomatic ties, it will be sure to look that way on the surface - especially given the very public calls by everyone in the Obama administration, from the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on down - for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Even though officials said the decision to close the embassy was based solely on security concerns, the move will likely be seen as a message to Syria that "we are done with you."

The officials point to Libya, where the United States did not formally cut ties when it closed its embassy in Tripoli and it is not doing so with Syria. The closing of the embassy means only that the embassy is temporarily suspending operations and taking its people out.

Ambassador Robert Ford and the embassy staff will continue its work at the State Department's Washington headquarters, just as Gene Cretz, U.S. ambassador to Libya, set up a temporary embassy on the sixth floor of Foggy Bottom.

Ford, who has been outspoken against the Syrian government's use of violence against protesters, left for two months in October after he was attacked by what the United States called an "armed mob" in Damascus. Since his return in December, Ford has been able to get around the country, meeting with opposition figures and bearing witness to the government's crackdown.

But the ever-deteriorating security situation, coupled with the fact the government refused to add barriers and restrict traffic around the embassy, which is on a busy Damascus street, made it untenable for Ford and the remaining U.S. personnel remain there. When presented with the facts and the potential for danger to the embassy staff, Clinton made the call.

Heightened concerns about security come in the wake of last month's deadly car bombings at the offices of two Syrian security branches in Damascus. U.S. officials say the blasts bear the hallmark of al Qaeda.

While there is no conclusive evidence al Qaeda was involved, officials have more than a hunch that the group is operating in the country and, amid the shadow of instability currently in Syria, believe the United States is a significant potential target.  Right now, the State Department is more concerned about a suicide bomb in front of the embassy than an angry mob throwing tomatoes.

Poland will now serve as the "protecting power" of U.S. interests in Syria, just as Turkey protected U.S. interests in Libya last year and as Switzerland has served as the U.S. protecting power in Iran since the United States broke relations with Tehran in 1979.

The Poles will look out for the remaining U.S. citizens in Syria in the event they need to get out of trouble. The State Department believes most Americans have already left the country, and those who haven't are dual nationals who live there. The State Department has sent numerous travel advisories warning Americans to leave Syria while commercial travel is available, stopping short of screaming "get the -- out."

Ford's departure is sure to prompt other countries, which have voiced similar security concerns, to follow suit, leaving a black hole in both independent observers to the violence and outreach to the opposition.

soundoff (348 Responses)
  1. Christina Cook

    After all, what a great site and informative posts, I will upload inbound link – bookmark this web site? Regards, Reader.

    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s604/sh/1e7bcdd0-51be-9cc6-2dab-95d0fa4c07f9/99976a437006bb837238bf4f3cef52e7

    August 30, 2021 at 6:28 am | Reply
  2. Fashion Styles

    I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

    https://www.ifashionstyles.com

    June 28, 2021 at 8:57 am | Reply
  3. Hairstyles

    Howdy! Quick question that's totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I'm trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

    https://www.hairstylesvip.com

    June 23, 2021 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  4. Dexter Mcintyre

    he blog was how do i say it... relevant, finally something that helped me. Thanks:)

    https://www.oneofusappeal.eu/halbleiterschutz-eine-besondere-aufgabe-mit-besonderen-anforderungen/

    June 23, 2021 at 8:54 am | Reply
  5. Freebies

    The crux of your writing while appearing reasonable originally, did not settle very well with me personally after some time. Someplace within the paragraphs you actually were able to make me a believer but only for a while. I nevertheless have got a problem with your leaps in logic and one might do nicely to help fill in all those gaps. If you can accomplish that, I could undoubtedly end up being impressed.

    https://www.cravefreebies.com

    June 20, 2021 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  6. Kayswell

    Hey there I am so excited I found your website, I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Google for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a fantastic post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don抰 have time to read through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the great work.

    https://www.kayswell.com

    June 18, 2021 at 6:43 am | Reply
  7. Rolando Escobar

    After all, what a great site and informative posts, I will upload inbound link – bookmark this web site? Regards, Reader.

    https://letterboxd.com/bv4ch/

    June 7, 2021 at 9:02 am | Reply
  8. Kinsley Liu

    This blog is definitely rather handy since I'm at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it's really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

    https://www.vingle.net/posts/3751934

    June 7, 2021 at 8:14 am | Reply
  9. Kara Tyler

    Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.

    https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/135963477-dobrinasveti

    June 7, 2021 at 7:27 am | Reply
  10. Jaidyn Kidd

    I love it when people come together and share opinions, great blog, keep it up.

    https://www.vingle.net/posts/3738670

    June 1, 2021 at 2:41 am | Reply
  11. Jaron Mccann

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

    https://www.gtap.agecon.purdue.edu/access_member/profile/profile_display.asp

    May 28, 2021 at 2:27 am | Reply
  12. Sierra Beard

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Plz reply back as I'm looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

    http://www.divephotoguide.com/user/avalgon

    May 20, 2021 at 11:12 am | Reply
  13. Braydon Douglas

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

    http://www.effecthub.com/user/1915792

    May 20, 2021 at 10:33 am | Reply
  14. Wynell Niedermeier

    so basically, i want to down;oad one of those programs that makes ur mouse pointer cool, but i don't want it to screw up my computer.. . what's a good one?.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmkowalsky/

    May 19, 2021 at 10:33 am | Reply
  15. stornobrzinol

    I like this web site its a master peace ! Glad I observed this on google .

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 5:48 am | Reply
  16. Ignacia Vessar

    Last, you need to keep in mind that you do not want to use a grip that will strain your big muscles. The best grip is one that does not stretch out your wrist. Using a wrist brace can help you with this. If you want to learn more about how a wrist brace works, you can read more about that here.

    https://bestproductlab.com/tag/best-golf-club-grips/

    May 6, 2021 at 12:22 am | Reply
  17. Johnyuak

    pieces December 3

    How to seal your prized interview leave an enduring convinced feeling

    careers articles December 3, 2007

    learning to effectively similar a discussion help to make the distinction between obtaining the job as as key pathetic people acquires a denial page in their mail. when you are abundant atte.

    Roger Clark

    Interview information Ten pinnacle Do's Dont's to receive profitable interviews

    top careers articles December 3, 2007

    In this day and age it develop into considerably more often hard to occasionally stimulate your foot in then enjoy a conversation; might accomplished that regardless of whether don't forget to continue to put your best.

    Roger Clark

    how to should you be Over 40 and Have lost your job

    careers articles December charmdate scam 3, 2007

    at any time losing your job may be an extremely painful as well as,while distressing past experience at the best of times. while you are over 40 and cannot find the job you merit, will come in handy great inside electrical power plus sel.

    Roger Clark

    crafting cover letters because Increase your odds of attracting interviews

    careers articles December 3, 2007

    attempt a websites put together employment cover letter and the probability is all of your job application be put into the garbage trash can without definitely taken into consideration.

    having said that, an interesting job application letter are going to up to guarantee and support your.

    Read the actual ArticleThe important things about Pet user friendly areas

    cats and dogs , 2007

    searching for as discovering the right pet warm and friendly properties is central to the an area of the travel preparing your diet schedule point in time. this article for you to get going.

    alan Lim

    want watching out for in Free online dating

    going on a date guidelines , 2007

    Free internet dating is the in object at the moment. artists are using the various dating site for a range of answers, not just to get a date. however,within the other hand, many simply searching for a date referring to sites, ne.

    April 12, 2021 at 10:29 am | Reply
  18. Ernesto Savitch

    Thanks for another informative website. Where else may just I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a undertaking that I am just now working on, and I've been on the glance out for such information.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 4, 2021 at 10:56 am | Reply
  19. ClarkClurn

    8nypx r7fjy jm9n

    March 1, 2021 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  20. Katerine Iba

    cartoon cat song music id roblox list

    https://github.com/cboseak/SimpleBlockchain

    February 21, 2021 at 3:13 am | Reply
  21. 500000Scrapebox CommentBacklinks

    500000 Scrapebox Blast Live SEO blog Comment Backlinks: https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/842132/500000-Scrapebox-Blast-Live-SEO-blog-Comment-Backlinks

    https://www.seoclerk.com/user/jackpower99

    February 16, 2021 at 9:55 am | Reply
  22. Filiberto Popovic

    frozen cartoon movie in urdu

    https://empirics.asia/christopher-boseak-founder-advaschedule-com/

    February 15, 2021 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  23. Gustavo Rocheleau

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Run our Premium Unlimited Traffic Step 3: Setup your Paypal account. Then just sit back and relax while you watch your paypal account receiving payments during the whole day 100 in auto pilot. More info: https://www.k3reviews.com/2020/08/16/monster-mode-700k/

    https://www.k3reviews.com/

    February 13, 2021 at 12:45 am | Reply
  24. Europa-Road

    It?¦s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    https://europa-road.eu/

    February 9, 2021 at 3:53 am | Reply
  25. zortilonrel

    Your style is so unique compared to many other people. Thank you for publishing when you have the opportunity,Guess I will just make this bookmarked.2

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    February 7, 2021 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  26. Brantojw

    Maanvi Gagroo slams handy apparel brand for 'distasteful' ad

    Maanvi Gagroo has lashed out at a clothing brand for using her picture in their advertising campaign and promoting the dress worn by her as to hide your curves She claimed that she did not give the label permission to use her photo, Especially when it is using a tagline that promotes fat shaming.

    Sharing a screenshot of similar, Maanvi authored, Didn wear this dress to my curves not only does the brand NOT have my permission to use my picture as a sponsored post, they don have my permission to fat shame ANYONE! I stand against everything this distasteful tagline points to. I didn wear this dress to my curves besides the brand NOT have my permission to use my picture as a sponsored post, they don have my permission to fat shame ANYONE! I stand against everything this undesirable tagline points to. She been specifically a part of web series like TVF Tripling, TVF Pitchers and not too long ago, Four More Shots remember to.

    i am like God, I have this time on my hand to loosen up, Guilt free After two three days for the lockdown, I had a bit of a breakdown. I saw the news concerning the migrant workers, And setup crying, And spiralled out of control. I spoke to my family, They calmed me down. It was a bit of an anxiety attack, But I soon felt calmer, She discussed.

    Maanvi also declared that the lockdown rusian brides has made her more regular with her workouts. I would say can go to the gym today or tell my trainer let do it tomorrow. But finally, there no excuse, I can even work out at three at night, She claimed.

    February 7, 2021 at 3:36 am | Reply
  27. Reuben Mallinger

    Earn 2000 a Month With Our Passive Income System

    https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/hw033/0

    February 6, 2021 at 10:12 am | Reply
  28. 35000-Visitors For-Free

    Earn 500 a Day With Our Passive Income System Doing These 3 Steps – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from our Free 850 sources of traffic (Approximately 35000 views a day guaranteed). Then in few hours you will start receiving payments without do nothing! More info: https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/gp8vk/0

    https://bitly.com/2qChAkX

    February 1, 2021 at 1:45 pm | Reply
1 2

Leave a Reply to myMy


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.