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Monday, October 24, 2011

Robert Ford coming home for 'vacation'

The US has brought home its man in Damascus, Robert Ford, for an open-ended 'vacation' due to 'security concerns' arising from goings on in the Syrian capital.
The United States has pulled its ambassador out of Syria over security concerns that have arisen during a seven-month-old popular uprising against President Bashar Assad, Western diplomats said on Monday.

Robert Ford left Syria over the weekend, they told Reuters.

The report comes after the European Union (EU) warned Iran on Sunday it would face tougher sanctions if it failed to address concerns about its nuclear program and said they would tighten restrictions on Syria if it continued to repress its population.
Robert Ford was definitely not a stay-at-home ambassador and the only mildly surprising things about this story are that it did not happen much sooner and that the Obama administration has apparently decided not to use Ford's departure to hammer Bashar al-Assad. The State Department briefing later on Monday should be interesting.

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