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Syria threatens to expel US ambassador

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Bassem Tellawi/AP

(Read caption) In this photo taken during a government-organized tour for foreign diplomats and the media, US ambassador in Syria Robert Ford, covers his nose from the smell of the dead bodies during his visit with other foreign diplomats to a mass grave, in Jisr el-Shughour, Syria, on June 20.

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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

The Syrian government warned US Ambassador Robert Ford yesterday that he risked being expelled from the country if he leaves Damascus again. That threat, coming after Mr. Ford's recent visit to protesters in the flashpoint city of Hama, could potentially complicate the Obama administration's push for a democratic transition in Syria.

According to unnamed administration officials quoted by Washington Post Opinion writer David Ignatius, Ford was seen as leading an effort to unify Syria's diverse opposition movement and help establish solid democratic leadership. One official went so far as to call the ambassador the "vehicle for transition."

Time reports that the opposition's many divisions may be too many and too varied to overcome – and that even if the loose-knit movement did manage to become more unified, it has no clear strategy for unseating the regime.


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