US envoy vows to monitor Syria violence firsthand

US sent Ambassador Robert Ford back to Syria, where Prez`s troops and tanks have stormed major cities in an effort to suppress a months-long pro-democracy revolt.

Washington: The US envoy to Syria has
returned to monitor the "grotesque" crackdown there, placing
himself on a collision course with Damascus, which has imposed
strict constraints on diplomats.

Washington on Thursday sent Ambassador Robert Ford
back to Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad`s troops and
tanks have stormed major cities in an effort to suppress a
months-long pro-democracy revolt.

Last month Ford infuriated the Syrian government with
his visit to the flashpoint city of Hama, a major protest hub
where scores of people have been killed in the past week in a
massive military raid.

But in an interview with US broadcaster ABC, conducted
before he left Washington and aired today, he vowed to
continue traveling across Syria to observe the crackdown
firsthand.

"I don`t particularly care (about angering Damascus),
because we have to show our solidarity with peaceful
protesters," he told ABC`s Sunday political talk show "This
Week."

"I`d do it again tomorrow if I have to. I`m going to
keep moving around the country. I can`t stop."

It could be a dangerous mission. The violence rages
on, with activists saying that Syrian forces backed by tanks
killed more than 50 people today, as Assad defended the
campaign as a battle against "outlaws."

PTI

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