US evacuates some staff, ups pressure on Syria

The United States has ordered embassy families and some staff out of Syria as it has hardened its tone on Damascus`s crackdown on protests without calling for President Bashar al-Assad to go.

Updated: Apr 26, 2011, 17:04 PM IST

Washington: The United States has ordered embassy families and some staff out of Syria as it has hardened its tone on Damascus`s crackdown on protests without calling for President Bashar al-Assad to go.

The State Department yesterday ordered embassy
family members and some non-emergency personnel to leave
Syria, after an earlier travel warning telling US citizens to
leave the country because of escalating attacks on protesters.

At the same time, Washington has defended the
presence of a US ambassador in Damascus, who only arrived
after a six-year absence in January, as Assad`s forces
deployed tanks and snipers, killing at least 25 people in a
key town.

"The brutal violence used by the government of
Syria against its people is completely deplorable and we
condemn it in the strongest possible terms," National Security
Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said today.

PTI