US Embassy in Syria closed, violence spreads as Russia ramps up pressure
Syria Renews Bombardment as U.S. Closes Embassy and Russia Sends Envoys
That’s the headline this morning in the Telegraph.
The US Embassy in Syria has been abandoned as violence spreads. Homs continues to be under attack and now the Russians flex some diplomatic muscle. (more from yesterday’s story here)
Mikhail Fradkov, the head of Moscow’s foreign intelligence service, arrived in Syria, has a long history with Syria as they have worked with Moscow to purchase Russian weapons.
More from the Telegraph:
The city of Homs was reported to be under heavy bombardment for the fourth straight day on Tuesday, a day after the United States closed its embassy in Syria and withdrew its staff in the face of escalating mayhem for which American officials blamed the Syrian government’s unbridled repression of an 11-month-old uprising.
Syrian state television showed crowds on a highway leading into Damascus, waving banners and balloons. Just days after Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution urging President Bashar al-Assad to step aside in favor of his deputy, Mr. Lavrov has been reported to be preparing Russia’s own initiative to resolve the worsening violence.
America’s decision to dismantle its diplomatic presence in Damascus was another dramatic moment in a week full of them, as the confrontation in Syria turned even more violent and more unpredictable. With the Western presence dwindling, even as Russia seeks to assert itself, both the Syrian government and its opposition have signaled that each believes that the grinding conflict will be resolved only through force of arms.
“This is a doomed regime as well as a murdering regime. There is no way it can recover its credibility internationally.” – William Hague, British foreign secretary, told the House of Commons
Full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/world/middleeast/syria-renews-bombardments-after-us-embassy-closes.html