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U.S. AMBASSADOR ATTACKED
The television broadcast shows a small group of angry Syrians following Mr. Ford and his security detail. The Syrians shouted slogans in support of President Bashar Assad, the Syrian autocrat who has unleashed armed troops to kill anti-government protesters throughout the Middle Eastern nation.
One man, wearing a white T-shirt and blue baseball cap, attempted to throw a poster with Mr. Assad’s image over Mr. Ford, as his security team pushed the ambassador into a white sport utility vehicle and sped away.
Another pro-government demonstrator held a handwritten sign that read: “We are all one. Get off our back.”
After returning to Damascus, he informed the Syrian Foreign Ministry of his visit, prompting a formal complaint to the State Department. Mr. Assad earlier imposed travel restrictions on foreign diplomats, after Mr. Ford and French Ambassador Eric Chavellier visited the flash-point city of Hama in July.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland last week explained that Mr. Ford traveled to Jassem without Syrian government permission because the Foreign Ministry repeatedly had denied his travel requests to leave the capital.
“The fact that he had been denied again and again and again permission to travel … that he made the decision to go,” she told reporters.
The United Nations says that Syrian forces have killed more than 2,000 unarmed protesters since the uprising against Mr. Assad erupted in March.
The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee denounced JPMorgan Chase bank for violating U.S. sanctions by processing thousands of “shameful” transactions with “cruel dictatorships.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
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