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Former Ambassador to Syria: No Longer ‘Felt I Could Defend the American Policy’ There

'Our policy is not addressing the Syrian crisis as it needs to'

• June 3, 2014 4:04 pm

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford told CNN Tuesday he resigned his post because he no longer felt he "could defend the American policy" there.

Ford said the Obama administration had been unable to address the root causes of the Syrian conflict and pointed to the growing threat of extremism in the country.

"There really is nothing we can point to that's been very successful in our policy except the removal of about 93 percent of some of Assad’s chemical materials," he said. "But now he’s using chlorine gas against his opponents in contravention of the Syrian government's agreement in 2013 to abide by the chemical weapons convention. The regime simply has no credibility and our policy is not addressing the Syrian crisis as it needs to."

Full exchange:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Why have you quit as Ambassador? Are you also frustrated with your nation's policy towards Syria?

ROBERT FORD: Christiane, I was no longer in a position where I felt I could defend the American policy. We have been unable to address either the root causes of the conflict in terms of the fighting on the ground and the balance on the ground, and we have a growing extremism threat. There really is nothing we can point to that's been very successful in our policy except the removal of about 93 percent of some of Assad’s chemical materials. But now he’s using chlorine gas against his opponents in contravention of the Syrian government's agreement in 2013 to abide by the chemical weapons convention. The regime simply has no credibility and our policy is not addressing the Syrian crisis as it needs to.

Published under: Syria