Entries in French Embassy (3)


Clinton: Syria's President Assad 'Has Lost Legitimacy'

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Secretary of State Clinton became the first U.S. official Monday to declare that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost his legitimacy.
“Look, I mean, from our perspective, he has lost legitimacy. He has failed to deliver on the promises he’s made. He has sought and accepted aid from the Syrians as to how to oppress his own people. And there’s a laundry list of actions that have been certainly concerning and should raise the issue with not only his behavior but those who are supporting him in the international community,” Clinton told reporters.
When pressed, she declined to explicitly call on Assad to leave power, as the U.S. has done in the case of Libya leader Moammar Gadhafi when they declared his rule illegitimate earlier this year. Earlier in her remarks, however, Clinton suggested as much.
“If anyone, including President Assad, thinks that the United States is secretly hoping the regime will emerge from this turmoil to continue its brutality and oppression they are wrong. President Assad is not indispensible and we have absolutely nothing invested in him remaining in power. Our goal is to see that the will of the Syrian people for a democratic transformation occurs,” she said.
Asked if the Syrian regime was responsible for attacks on the U.S. and French embassies in Damascus, Clinton suggested more strongly than did her spokesperson earlier Monday that they are.
“By either allowing or inciting this kind of behavior by these mobs against Americans and French diplomats and their property, they are clearly trying to deflect attention from their crackdown internally and to move the world’s view away from what they’re doing and to create some kind of ongoing conflict between Syrians and people like our diplomats and it just doesn’t work,” she said.
“We’ve also made clear that we are investigating reports about how these incidents have occurred and who was behind them and we are not going to be satisfied until the Syrians protect our people,” she added.
Clinton also condemned Syria’s failure to protect the U.S. and French embassies from attack earlier Monday, as they are required by international treaty to do.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Protesters Attack US and French Embassies in Syria

The Syrian flag flutters outside the damaged windows of the French Embassy following a gathering of pro-government protesters in Damascus on July 11, 2011. LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS) -- Pro-government protesters attacked the U.S. and French embassies in Damascus on Monday.

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been protesting outside the two embassies since Friday after Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador, and Eric Chevallier, the French ambassador, separately visited the city of Hama on Thursday to show support for anti-government protesters.

Officials tell ABC News that nearly 300 protesters surrounded the U.S. embassy with some making it to the roof of the chancery building before being stopped by U.S. Marine guards. Mr. Ford's residence, which is a few blocks from the embassy, was attacked shortly after. Damage to both buildings includes spray paint and broken windows from thrown rocks, fruits, and vegetables. At the French embassy, windows were broken and the ambassador’s vehicle was damaged. French guards fired live shots to disperse the protesters.

BBC News reports that in a statement, the U.S. State Department said, "One of the basic obligations of a government under the Vienna Convention is protection of diplomatic facilities. On this, as in other areas such as protection of human rights, the Syrian government failed."

In a statement, ABC News reports that the French embassy echoed the U.S. State Department’s views on the role of the Syrian forces under the Vienna convention, and said French security officers were forced to fire warning shots due to the Syrian forces' passivity during the attacks. The embassy also stated that the pro-government demostrators were well-organized, using a battering ram in an attempt to break down doors. They reported that three employees were injured.

Syria is facing international criticism for its violent crackdown of opposition forces that has reportedly killed more than 1,000 people.

The United States says it plans to file complaints and demand compensation from the Syrian government for damages.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


French Embassy Convoy Attacked in Iraq

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- A French Embassy convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device Monday morning while traveling through Baghdad, according to Iraqi police.

Four security guards assigned to protect the embassy officials were wounded in the blast.  Three Iraqi civilians were also injured by the roadside bomb.

No French Embassy officials were in the convoy at the time of the attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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