Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pro-Assad Mob Attacks and Detains U.S. Ambassador to Syria

The Syrian government simply has no answer for the gutsy and irrepressible U.S. ambassador to Damascus who continues to move around the country to document the atrocities committed on civilians by the regime's military and security forces.

Pro-regime thugs ambushed the motorcade today of Ambassador Robert Ford, pelting his car with eggs and rocks in what the U.S. believes was an attack that may have been condoned by government of Bashir al-Assad.

"The mob was violent," said State Department spokesman Mark Toner. "It tried, unsuccessfully, to attack embassy personnel while they were inside several embassy vehicles, seriously damaging the vehicles in the process."

Ford was on his way to a meeting with Hassan Abdel-Azim, who leads the opposition National Democratic Gathering, which opposes Assad's crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, known as the Arab Spring.

Ford and the American diplomatic delegation was trapped in the building for nearly two hours before the Assad regime finally sent in security forces to break up the mob on nearly 100 pro-Assad supporters.

"We condemn this unwarranted attack in the strongest possible terms," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement. "Ambassador Ford and his aides were conducting normal embassy business, and this attempt to intimidate our diplomats through violence is wholly unjustified."

It was not the first time the Assad regime sat back and allowed violence against American diplomats. Ford made a defiant visit in July to Hama, the epicenter of the Syrian freedom revolt, that triggered a retaliatory attack by civilians on the U.S. embassy compound.

At least 2,700 people have been killed by Assad forces since the uprising against Assad started.

Ford insists he will not be deterred and will continue to expose and document the heinous acts of violence by the regime against the Syrian population.

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