Conflict & Justice

France pulls diplomat out of Syria


Pro-democracy protesters burn portraits of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a demonstration outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo where an emergency ministerial meeting was held on November 12, 2011 to discuss the situation in Syria.



France is the latest country to pull its diplomat out of Syria amid growing violence and security concerns, the Associated Press reported

Eric Chevallier, French Ambassador to Damascus, was recalled home Wednesday due to increasing violence in the region. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is facing mounting pressure from the international community to cease his government-led violent crackdowns against the opposition.

The eight-month conflict in Syria heightened when army defectors attacked an air force intelligence base near Damascus Wednesday Wednesday – the same day the Arab League is meeting in Morocco to formally suspend Syria over it’s violence against protesters.

More from GlobalPost: Syrian army defectors attack intelligence base 

France’s recall has become part of a growing trend of diplomats evacuating Damascus as Assad sympathizers started targeting foreign embassies critical of the Syrian regime.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have also recently pulled their diplomats out from Syria after thousands of Syrians attacked their embassies shortly after the League made the vote to suspend Damascus.

In the span of a week, pressure mounted as the international community increasingly came out to rebuke Assad – further politically isolating the Syrian leader.

As the European Union imposed new sanctions on 18 Syrians believed to be involved with the regime-supported repression, Jordanian king Abdullah told Assad to step down. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan criticized Assad over the protester crackdowns, saying “no regime can survive by killing or jailing.”

More from GlobalPost: Syria: EU to impose new sanctions, Jordan calls on Assad to resign 

Now, the latest attacks led by army defectors has escalted what has been largely a peaceful anti-government protest to a growing case of armed insurgency, the AP reported. A Monday defector-led attack that killed 34 of Assad’s soldiers has been reported as one of the deadliest moments in the eight-month uprising.