News / Middle East

US Suspends Syrian Embassy Operations

FILE - A flag flies at the Syrian Embassy in Washington.
FILE - A flag flies at the Syrian Embassy in Washington.
VOA News
The United States has told the Syrian government to immediately suspend operations at its embassy in Washington and two honorary consulates.
 
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that Syrian diplomats who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must leave the country.
 
"Following the announcement that the Syrian embassy suspended its provision of consular services and in consideration of the atrocities the Assad regime has committed against the Syrian people, we have determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations here in the United States," said Carney.
 
Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted the number of people killed and forced from their homes by three years of fighting, including "people attacked by their own government with gas."
 
"We just felt that the idea that this embassy is sitting here with representation, that we could take seriously, is an insult. And we closed it. It's that simple. And we'll see what happens in other places, but the Assad regime can never regain legitimacy in Syria. Whether they win, don't win, they can't regain legitimacy," said Kerry.
 
New U.S. special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein said the U.S. wants to maintain diplomatic relations with the state of Syria as an expression of longstanding ties with the Syrian people, something he said will endure "long after Bashar al-Assad leaves power."
 
Meanwhile, Israel announced that its air force bombed Syrian military positions Wednesday in response to an attack on its forces in the Golan Heights. The targets included an army training facility, military headquarters and artillery batteries.
 
The Israeli military said an explosive device targeting its forces injured four soldiers on Tuesday. A spokesman called the blast "an unacceptable escalation of violence from Syria" and vowed that Israel would not tolerate threats to its forces.
 
Two weeks ago, Israeli troops shot two fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah near the fence dividing Israeli and Syrian-held areas of the Golan. The Israeli army said they had been trying to plant a bomb near the barrier.
 
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. The strategic plateau has seen occasional spillover violence from the Syrian civil war.
 
In Geneva, United Nations investigators said Tuesday they have added to their list of suspected war criminals from both sides in the Syrian civil war after a new round of atrocities in recent weeks.
 
Lead investigator Paulo Pinheiro said the U.N. inquiry has identified military units and security agencies as well as insurgent groups suspected of committing abuses.
 
He said a newly drafted “perpetrators list” includes the names of intelligence branches and detention facilities where detainees are tortured, military commanders who target civilians, officials overseeing airports from where “barrel bomb” attacks originate, and leaders of armed groups who attack civilians.
 
It is the most specific information revealed thus far about the identities of suspected war criminals on the list.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ananias from: Los Angeles
March 20, 2014 2:25 AM
Spirit is a drama Queen! It is in this persuasion I have to comment to this unnerving set of events to a web site that is me… Voice of America! Being an emigrant to this country and knowing what this wonderful country represents, I feel that I am in debt. And the way to repay what I owe is to make sure that the world survives one day more then what is accounted by the ones who do the bidding. Gentlemen, stop playing games! The stake that you eat is not worth the suffering of a dog, yet a child. You want to exacerbate the issue with Syria because the Rus are aware that you want to take their resources and they are ready to take you on? I say stop! Our Time on this planet is limited. And we will be accounted for every moment that we have spent to love or offend each other. I say let’s choose love! Because “All you need is Love”.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid