"Syrians angry with US and France meddling in their country’s affairs"
11 Jul, 2011 21:26
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Syrian government had lost legitimacy, after hundreds of angry government supporters attacked the American and French embassies in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
The US top diplomat said that the Syrian authorities failed to provide adequate protection to diplomatic missions and announced that the State Department will take its own investigation to find out who organized the unrest.Washington may also seek compensation from Damascus for the damage of its property.The protesters were not able to break into the US embassy compound due to the quick response by US Marine stationed at the mission. No injuries were reported to embassy personnel, the Associated Press reported. However, the mob damaged one of the embassy’s buildings, smashing windows and putting up a Syrian flag atop the compound. After the protesters were dispersed from the US embassy, they reportedly attacked the residence of US Ambassador Robert Ford. The rallies also targeted the French mission in Damascus, but were confronted by French embassy security guards, who fired in the air to hold the protestors back. Up to three protesters were reportedly injured after the guards attacked them with clubs. The attacks come after visits by the US and French ambassadors to the restive city of Hama in central Syria, AP reported. The Syrian authorities called the visits interference in the country’s internal affairs. Despite a possibility that the embassy attacks were backed by the Syrian government, some demonstrators came there to express their genuine anger over foreign interference in Syrian affairs, Middle East writer and commentator Karl Sharoo told RT. “There is a blatant intervention by the US and French governments, at least if they were fully aware of what their ambassadors were doing, in a very fluid, dynamic situation on the ground in Syria,” he said. “I would not be surprised if some of the demonstrators were actually driven genuinely by anger, because that is a sort of intrusion that nobody can tolerate,” Sharoo added.