Syrian Embassy in Washington Closed, Diplomats Expelled

Syrian embassy in Washington, D.C.
Syrian embassy in Washington, D.C. / Wikimedia Commons

The United States closed the Syrian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Israel Hayom reports. Diplomats and consulates stationed there were asked to leave the country.

U.S. Special Envoy for Syria Daniel Rubenstein blamed embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose regime has now entered the fourth year of a civil protest turned violent rebellion that has claimed the lives of over 140,000.

"For three years, Bashar Assad has refused to heed the call of the Syrian people to step aside. He has directed a war against his own people and created a humanitarian catastrophe in order to hold on to power and protect his narrow interests," Rubenstein said in a statement.

The U.S., however, did not sever all diplomatic ties with Damascus. U.S. lawmakers say that completely dismissing the Assad regime could absolve of it having to abide by international law.