Syria and US clash over embassy attacks
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has “lost legitimacy”. The announcement comes after the US and French embassies were targeted by angry pro-regime demonstrators in Syria’s capital, Damascus, on Monday.
The announcement comes after the US and French embassies were targeted by angry pro-regime demonstrators in Syria’s capital, Damascus, on Monday.
“President Assad is not indispensable and we have absolutely nothing invested in him … remaining in power,” Clinton said in the toughest US stand since the start of the revolt around four months ago.
In reply, the Syrian foreign minister accused the secretary of state of “incitement”.
A statement released at the end of a three-day, regime-backed, national dialogue on reforms said Clinton’s remarks were “further proof of the flagrant interference of the United States in the internal affairs of Syria”.
In response to Monday’s attack on the French embassy, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé called on the Syrian authorities to do their duty.
“All governments should ensure the security of embassies and diplomatic missions,” he said.
Three French staff were injured in the attack, which forced guards to fire three warning shots. No staff were hurt in the clash at the American embassy.
Last week the French and US ambassadors to Syria made high-profile visits to the city of Hama in a gesture of support to the civilian victims of the violence.
The regime reacted with fury, accusing the Western powers of instigating the unrest.
Meanwhile, France has renewed its demand that the United Nations Security Council take a stance on the crisis in Syria.
"France and other European countries have submitted a proposed resolution to the UN Security Council, which has been blocked by Russia and China," Prime Minister Francois Fillon told French radio station, Europe 1.
He branded the attack on the French embassy as, "extremely violent" and echoed the US secretary of state by saying Assad's regime was losing its grip.
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