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FORD RESUMES ATTACKS
U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford, who returned to Syria last month, is already resuming the types of verbal assaults against President Bashar Assad and his violent regime that brought death threats and forced a recall to Washington.
“The killing at the hands of Syria security forces of hundreds of civilians during the past weeks is appalling. … Each of these killings is a tragedy and a crime,” Mr. Ford said Tuesday on his Facebook page.
The United Nations estimates that Syrian authorities have killed more than 5,000 protesters since demonstrations against the government erupted in March. Syrian opposition sources say the regime has killed nearly 400 civilians since Dec. 21, only two days after Mr. Assad agreed to an Arab League plan to stop the crackdown on protesters and open talks with the opposition.
Mr. Ford also expressed shock over seeing long lines of Syrian women waiting to get fuel from an oil tanker on “one cold, dark night.” He blamed the government for creating the fuel shortage because international sanctions against Syria do not include a ban on the sale of refined oil.
“The government and [regime loyalists] will try to blame the West for the shortages, but the sanctions do not stop sales of refined energy products to Syria,” he added.
The State Department recalled him in October after he received death threats.
Syria responded by recalling Ambassador Imad Moustapha from Washington. Mr. Assad has not replaced his ambassador to the United States, but Mr. Moustapha’s message to Syrian-Americans remains on the website of the Syrian Embassy, where Deputy Chief of Mission Zouheir Jabbour is in charge.
POLL WATCHERS COMPLAIN
Two U.S. groups monitoring the Egyptian elections are complaining that the military government is spreading false information about them, after authorities raided their offices last week.
The International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute said this week that they have long had the proper authorization to operate in Egypt and that the ruling military council has been aware of their activities since the army took over after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak last year.
“There continues to be public misrepresentation regarding the nature of the [IRI] activities in Egypt,” the organization said this week. “IRI respects the sovereignty and laws or Egypt and seeks to operate in full accordance with Egyptian law.”
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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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