WASHINGTON (JTA) — Syria and the United States each withdrew its ambassador amid escalating physical attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Damascus.
Robert Ford, the U.S. envoy to Damascus, left over the weekend, Reuters reported Monday, quoting diplomats. He had infuriated Syrian authorities by speaking out on behalf of pro-democracy protests and visiting cities convulsed by the government’s crackdown.
Mobs had attacked the Damascus embassy multiple times — assaults that were seen as having tacit Syrian government approval because of the regime’s efficacy in controlling such outbreaks in the past.
No one was injured In the attacks, which targeted property.
Imad Moustapha, the Syrian envoy to Washington, also was recalled to Damascus, Reuters quoted the embassy as saying.
U.S. officials have alleged that Syrian embassy associates have attempted to intimade pro-democracy protesters in the United States by filming them and threatening their families in Syria.