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

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid