Pro-Assad crowd stones U.S. envoy’s convoy in Damascus


Reuters
September 29, 2011

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hurled rocks and tomatoes at U.S. ambassador Robert Ford’s convoy as he visited an opposition figure in Damascus on Thursday and Syria accused Washington of inciting violence and meddling in its affairs.

Assad’s crackdown on six months of pro-democracy protests has envenomed relations with the United States, which has imposed fresh sanctions and rallied world pressure on Syria.

President Barack Obama took office in 2009 pledging to engage in dialogue with Damascus and named Ford as ambassador.

“Two embassy cars were damaged,” said a witness, who asked not to be identified, adding that the demonstrators were chanting “Abu Hafez (father of Hafez),” a nickname for Assad.

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