U.S. Recalls Ambassador To Syria As Violence Escalates
On Monday the United States recalled its ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford. The move came the same day that government forces reportedly fired on civilians in the city of Homs.
According to Reuters:
“A member of the main opposition Syrian National Council said Assad's forces killed 50 people in a sustained bombardment of Homs, a center of armed opposition to his rule, two days after activists reported 200 people were killed in shelling.
Syrian authorities, who have denied firing on houses, said security forces killed ‘tens of terrorists’ in Homs Monday morning. An Interior Ministry statement said six members of the security forces were killed in the clashes.”
A report in the Los Angeles Times said government troops began bombarding targets in Bab Amro just after dawn Monday.
“‘It's a massacre in the true meaning of the word,’ a witness, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said by telephone.
Among the structures destroyed, activists said, was a field hospital where the wounded were being treated.
At least 74 people were killed throughout Syria on Monday, including 47 in Homs, according to the Local Coordination Committees, an opposition coalition. The group reported other clashes and killings in the suburbs of Damascus. There was no way to verify the reports.”
Much like his counterpart, former Yemeni president Ali Abdullag Saleh, Assad has promised to enact political reforms but those promises have gone unfulfilled thus far. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to meet with Assad in Damascus Tuesday. It is not known what message Lavrov will deliver, especially in the wake of Russia’s recent Security Council veto.