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US pulls ambassador from Syria

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 02:27

Oct 25 - The United States pulls its ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford over security concerns. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.

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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL The United States pulls its ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford due to threats to his safety. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN VICTORIA NULAND SAYING: "First of all we want to have a chance to consult with him, talk to him about how he sees the situation in Damascus. It's also the case that the situation there is quite tense and we want to give him a little bit of a break. So just to reiterate he has been asked to come home for consultations. He has not been recalled." The State Department spokeswoman also demanded the Syrian government end what she called, it's "smear campaign". (SOUNDBITE) (English) STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN VICTORIA NULAND SAYING: "Second as our statement said this morning, we are concerned about a campaign of regime led incitement targeted personally at Ambassador Ford by the state-run media of the government of Syria. And we are concerned about the security situation that has created. So I want to take this opportunity to call on the government of Syria to immediately end its smear campaign of malicious and deceitful propaganda against Ambassador Ford. Finally I want to say that we do expect Ambassador Ford will be returning to Damascus after his consultations are completed." Ford antagonised the Syrian government with his support for protesters trying to end the Assad family's 4-decade rule. Last month pro-government demonstrators attacked cars carrying Ford and his aides, after their visit to an opposition figure in Damascus. Ford left Syria as a government crackdown on protesters intensified. In Homs, a video posted on a social media website showed a man being shot as he tried to drag a body from the street. 'God is great,' people in the video chanted. Reuters cannot independently verify the content of these videos. At least 16 people have been killed in Homs in the last two days, activists said. The Syrian authorities said they are fighting, "armed terrorist groups" in Homs. They blame the unrest across the country on such groups. The UN says the crackdown has killed 3000 people, including 187 children. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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US pulls ambassador from Syria

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 02:27