AP/Washington Post
February 6, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has closed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus and pulled all American diplomats out of Syria.

Officials say Ambassador Robert Ford and other diplomats left Syria on Monday. It’s the most dramatic U.S. move so far after 11 months of a violent crackdown on dissent by President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The State Department warned last month it would close the embassy unless Assad’s government stepped up its protection. It cited concerns about the safety of personnel and recent car bombs.

… The Obama administration has long demanded that Assad step down. Officials insist his regime’s demise is inevitable.

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