US closes embassy in Damascus due to violence
The United States announced on Monday it was closing its embassy in Syria due to the worsening security situation.
The State Department, which warned late last month that it would close the embassy unless security concerns were addressed, said it had suspended embassy operations and withdrawn all embassy personnel including Ambassador Robert Ford.
"We, along with several other diplomatic missions, conveyed our security concerns to the Syrian government but the regime failed to respond adequately," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
Nuland said that Ford would retain his position as the US ambassador to Syria and would work together with his team from Washington.
"Together with other senior US officials, Ambassador Ford will maintain contacts with the Syrian opposition and continue our efforts to support the peaceful political transition which the Syrian people have so bravely sought," Nuland said.
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