US Closes The Syrian Embassy And Sends Diplomats Back Home
Published June 9th, 2014
The US has effectively closed the Syrian embassy in Washington DC and its honorary consulates in Michigan in Texas and has sent all of its diplomats back to Damascus. The administrative staff remaining has until the end of April to leave the country. The US made the decision to shut down the embassy after deciding it was "unacceptable" for appointees of the Syrian regime to perform diplomatic and consular service in the US.
The Syrian Revolution has just marked its third year. The US asserts that Assad regime has committed gross atrocities against its own populous and that Bashar al-Assad has refused to step down from his position of power in spite of the wishes of the Syrian people. According to reports, more than 140,000 have died in the conflict and more than four million have been displaced from their homes.
The US and Russia have worked to bring about a conclusion to Syria's deadly conflict, but their efforts have failed. Now that the US and Russia are at odds over Russia's annexation of the Crimea, it seems a conclusion is even further away. The US has not ceased negotiations, however, and has promised to continue to work for an end to "bloodshed." The US believes strongly in its tie to the Syrian people and so it is leaving some doors open.
Some have questioned the Syrian ambassador's position in the country and his mission to the United Nations. The US government has so far limited this ambassador's movement to the five boroughs of New York City. The ambassador's work in the United Nations will not be affected by the ousting of the Syrian embassy's diplomats.
The Syrian Uprising began three years ago with nationwide protests that grew out of the Arab Spring movement. Protesters wanted an end to the Ba'ath government and for its President--Bashar al-Assad--to relinquish power. The protesters claimed that after a decade in power, the Syrian president still failed to deliver on his promises of reform.
Once the government responded to protesters with violence, it has seemed as if there is no turning back. Famine, increased poverty, and escalation of violence have been the hallmarks of this conflict. Refugee camps have swelled in light of the conflict and nations like Turkey and Lebanon have been dealing with spill-over from the violent conflict.
At this point in the conflict, experts have acknowledged a stale-mate. Neither side appears to have the ability to prevail--at least without an untold amount of more bloodshed. Some have suggested that this conflict could drag on for another five years. Other neighboring nations have also tried to prevent the violent conflict from spreading and turning into a large-scale regional conflict. Many negotiations have been in an attempt to persuade the Syrian government from stopping the use of chemical weapons--which it has used.
With no end in sight at present, this conflict will continue leaving millions unable to return to their homelands and the intense suffering still a long way from resolution.