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US Reduces Diplomatic Presence in Syria


The United States is reducing its diplomatic presence in Syria following a foiled terror attack on the U.S. Embassy in Damascus.

In a travel warning Thursday, the State Department said it authorized non-emergency personnel at the U.S. Embassy and families of U.S. diplomats to leave Syria.

The warning also said U.S. citizens in Syria should consider leaving the country.

On Tuesday, terrorists armed with small arms and explosive-packed vehicles attacked the Embassy but were stopped by Syrian guards. Four terrorists and a Syrian security guard died in the attack.

The terrorists, who shouted Islamic slogans, failed to break through the Embassy's perimeter walls.

The State Department warning says the attack underscores the presence of terrorist groups in Syria. It says the U.S. is working with Syria to address the threats.

On Tuesday, the U.S. thanked Syria for preventing the attack. But the White House spokesman Tony Snow called on Syria to join the war on terror.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.