SAC Supports Withdrawal of US Ambassador to Syria

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The Syrian American Council (SAC) today said it supports the United States’ decision to temporarily withdraw its ambassador to Syria in light of what the State Department called “credible threats against his personal safety.”

The hostility that Assad supporters have exhibited towards Ambassador Ford is shocking.... We sincerely thank him for standing with the Syrian people and supporting their rights to freedom and democracy.

The Syrian American Council (SAC) today said it supports the United States’ decision to temporarily withdraw its ambassador to Syria in light of what the State Department called “credible threats against his personal safety.”
Read: U.S. brings Ambassador Ford home from Syria, citing threats to safety
Ambassador Robert Ford has played a visible role in Syria since the start of the pro-democracy uprising in March, including visiting the restive city of Hama where he was greeted with roses and olive branches by the peaceful protesters whose cause he supported. Hama, a city three hours north of Damascus, held many demonstrations since the start of the uprising, with hundreds of thousands of locals demanding an end to Bashar Al-Assad’s dictatorship. Ambassador Ford also recently attended the funeral of slain activist Ghiath Matar, who died of torture wounds while in the custody of the Syrian government.
Ambassador Ford’s visits to protest hubs and the United States’ rebuke of the Syrian regime’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors appear to have threatened Syrian dictator Assad in his desperate attempt to hold onto power. Assad loyalists have made numerous efforts to intimidate the ambassador. In addition to throwing eggs and tomatoes at Ambassador Ford on three separate occasions and damaging U.S. embassy vehicles, pro-Assad crowds also attempted to storm U.S. embassy walls during a meeting that Ford held with a prominent opposition figure.

Harry Mahoney, the U.S. embassy’s charge d’affaires, stated that although a clear date has not been set for the ambassador’s return, the U.S. has not formally withdrawn its ambassador from Syria. Nonetheless, the Syrian regime responded by pulling its ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, for "consultations."

“The hostility that Assad supporters have exhibited towards Ambassador Ford is shocking,” said SAC President Dr. Talal Sunbulli. “We sincerely thank him for standing with the Syrian people and supporting their rights to freedom and democracy. We hope that the U.S. State Department will further align itself with this cause by recognizing the Syrian National Council as representative of the Syrian opposition.”

The Syrian American Council (SAC) was founded in 2005 to mobilize Syrian Americans to strengthen civil society in Syria, to promote friendly relations between the Syrian and American peoples, to engage civic and governmental organizations to advance civil liberties, human dignity and democracy in Syria. The organization has represented Syrian Americans to the U.S. State Department, Congress, and in international meetings and councils.

Contact: SAC PR Chair Hussam Ayloush, hayloush(at)sacouncil(dot)com, (951) 444-8344;
or SAC Board Member Khalid Saleh, ksaleh(at)sacouncil(dot)com, (832) 423-0607.

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Hussam Ayloush
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